Authorization and Approval
Authorization: Board of Governors
Approval Date: June 22, 2015
The land is acknowledged as our Mother, the Earth. The University of Saskatchewan is committed to honor and support the *Indigenous peoples, Indigenous cultures, Indigenous values, and Indigenous languages that belong to the land of Treaty 6 Territory and Homeland of the Métis. The University of Saskatchewan is committed to working towards mending colonized lands and protecting the land in a way that demonstrates honour, respect, and love. The University of Saskatchewan extends this commitment to the lands and Treaty territories (Treaties 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10) that constitute kisiskâciwan ([Saskatchewan], “the swift current”, Cree/Saulteaux), and all Indigenous people that call kisiskâciwan home. We are born to the land and the land claims us.
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to safeguarding the cultures and integrity of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous values, and practices, and to transformative decolonization leading to reconciliation. To honour, protect and support Indigenous peoples, this policy safeguards Indigenous spaces, Indigenous voices, and Indigenous ceremony/ practices by establishing the University of Saskatchewan campuses, inclusive of student residences, smudge and ceremony safe spaces.
The policy conveys the university’s commitment to:
- supporting Indigenous traditions, practices, and ceremonies
- improve recruitment, retention, and engagement of Indigenous students, staff, and faculty.
- enhance the reputation of the University by actively protecting space for Indigenous ceremony.
- contribute to the university’s commitment of decolonization and Indigenization.
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to Indigenization and has woven this thread into the university’s Vision, Mission, Principles and Values statements. The seven fundamental commitments of the ohpahotȃn | oohpaahotaan (Let’s fly up together), the Indigenous Strategy for the University of Saskatchewan, have guided the policy creation and will continue in its implementation. These commitments of Safety, Wellness, Stewardship, Representation, Right Relations, Creation, and Renewal outlined in the strategy will guide the University of Saskatchewan in embracing nīkānītān manācihitowinihk | ni manachīhitoonaan (Let us lead with respect, University Plan 2025).
The practice of Indigenous traditions and ceremonies, including smudging and pipe ceremonies, will be protected, and promoted. Medicinal and sacred plant materials utilized in Indigenous ceremonies include sweet grass, sage, cedar, and traditional tobacco.
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to promote and support the health, safety and well-being of all who study, work, live on and visit our campuses.
Scope of this Policy
The policy applies to all University of Saskatchewan campus buildings and occupants.
The University of Saskatchewan upholds Indigenous traditions, ceremonies and spiritual practices and declares all campuses are smudge and ceremony safe spaces.
All members of the university community are expected to understand and uplift the need to safeguard Indigenous peoples, Indigenous cultures, Indigenous values, and practices within all University of Saskatchewan spaces and, as such, remain responsible for the implementation of such within their scope of influence and authority.
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to this policy’s implementation, assessment, amendments, and education and the University of Saskatchewan community will be supported to ensure understanding of how to navigate the Smudging and Ceremonies Policy.
The Provost, through the Office of the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement, is responsible for implementation, education, and policy amendments.
To support policy implementation and compliance, the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement, Associate Vice-President Services and Associate Vice-President People will oversee the development and upkeep of protocols and procedures that consider multiple perspectives (Indigenous, residences/facilities, safety, wellness, accommodation, community, knowledge-keepers and elders).
The University of Saskatchewan expects that its faculty, staff, students, post-doctoral students, visitors, contractors and agents will comply with this policy. Should there be reason to suspect that laws or university policies have been or are being violated, and the university may suffer reputational, financial or other harm as a result of non-compliance, this may constitute grounds for disciplinary or legal action in accordance with any applicable agreements, contracts, collective agreements, regulations or policies, legislation or common law principles.
Key related USask guiding strategies and documents:
Regarding Education, Policy Interpretation, Indigenous Protocols
Regarding Student Residence or Facility Inquiries
Regarding Wellness, Accommodation, Safety Inquiries