Authorization and Approval
Authorization: Board of Governors
Responsibility: Provost and Vice-President Academic
Approval Date: July 8, 2022
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.
deybwewin | taapwaywin | tapwewin: Indigenous truth
The name of this policy means truth – truth to self, truth to each other, truth to the ancestors and truth to the land. The intent of deybwewin | taapwaywin | tapwewin (Saulteaux, Michif, Cree) is to protect Indigenous truth and space for everyone.
The deybwewin | taapwaywin | tapwewin policy provides a framework for the implementation of Indigenous membership/citizenship verification with documentation at the University of Saskatchewan.
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to safeguarding the cultures and integrity of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous values, and Indigenous languages within university business or activities.
It is recognized that the University of Saskatchewan is committed to transformative decolonization leading to reconciliation. In an effort to honour, protect and support Indigenous peoples, we establish this policy to safeguard Indigenous spaces, Indigenous voices, and Indigenous resources.
This policy conveys the university’s commitment to:
- reconciliation and recognition of the Indigenous right to determine their own membership/citizenship in accordance with their governance, customs, traditions, and procedures;
- safeguard Indigenous peoples, cultures, values, and languages within University of Saskatchewan spaces of business and activities; and
- implementation of Indigenous membership/citizenship verification with **documentation.
The development of this policy was an Indigenous led and informed taskforce that included Elders, Knowledge Keepers, cultural advisors, faculty, staff, students and community members. The policy will be guided by the sacred teachings that led the work of the taskforce: respect, love, truth, humility, courage, honesty, and bringing these teachings together to create grounded wisdom. Having the policy grounded in the sacred teachings inspires a respectful and inclusive space for those who utilize and engage with the deybwewin | taapwaywin | tapwewin policy.
The university is committed to achieving reconciliation which requires, and is not limited to, a recognition of Indigenous self-government, law, perspectives, and rights as critical components of relationships. The University of Saskatchewan is committed to Indigenization and has woven this thread into the University Plan 2025 and the Vision, Mission, and Values policy. The University of Saskatchewan is committed to achieving reconciliation which requires, and is not limited to, a recognition of the Indigenous right to determine their own membership/citizenship in accordance with their governance, customs, traditions, and procedures.
The seven fundamental commitments of the ohpahotȃn | oohpaahotaan (Let’s fly up together), the Indigenous Strategy gifted to the University of Saskatchewan, will guide the policy implementation. The commitments of Safety, Wellness, Stewardship, Representation, Right Relations, Creation, and Renewal will guide the University of Saskatchewan in becoming not only the University the World Needs, but also embraces nīkānītān manācihitowinihk | ni manachīhitoonaan (Let us lead with respect).
Scope of this Policy
This policy applies to all members of the university community including, but not limited to, students, researchers, post-doctoral fellows, staff, faculty, institutional leadership, members of governing bodies, Elders, Cultural Advisors, and Knowledge Keepers, and any person participating in university business or activities (e.g., service provider, contractor, volunteer).
The University of Saskatchewan will implement Indigenous membership/citizenship verification with documentation, under the terms described in this policy.
Verification documentation will be required for all incoming assertions of Indigenous membership/citizenship by members of the university community where that claim may result in a material advantage or where the absence of verification would be otherwise contrary to the principles recognized in this policy.
For Indigenous membership/citizenship assertions that have occurred before this Policy came into effect, verification will also be required where there is reason to question the authenticity of that claim and where that prior assertion has resulted in material advantage, or where the absence of verification would be otherwise contrary to the principles recognized in this policy.
The verification of documentation process is described in the implementation procedures [separate document to be linked] associated with this policy and recognizes the inherent rights of self- determination and self- governance of Indigenous communities. A Standing Committee will be constituted to support implementation.
The deybwewin | tapwewin | taapwaywin Standing Committee is accountable to:
- develop the implementation plan to align with the approved policy;
- ensure the plan is grounded in the sacred teachings to provide respectful and inclusive space for those that utilize and engage with the deybwewin | taapwaywin | tapwewin policy;
- operationalize the plan over the two to five years following policy approval;
The Provost, through the office of the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement is accountable to:
- manage this policy including implementation, policy education, monitoring, review, and amendment; and
- care for and animate deybwewin | tapwewin | taapwaywin responsibilities and principles associated with the policy.
All members of the university community share the responsibility for upholding the policy to protect Indigenous space (e.g. Indigenous specific positions, funding, scholarships, etc.) for Indigenous people at the University of Saskatchewan.
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to this policy’s implementation, assessment, amendments, and education. The Provost, through the office of the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement is responsible for implementation.
The University of Saskatchewan community will be supported to ensure understanding of how to navigate the deybwewin | tapwewin | taapwaywin policy.
The deybwewin | tapwewin | taapwaywin Standing Committee guides and supports the process of sharing and implementing the policy. The deybwewin | tapwewin | taapwaywin Standing Committee oversees sustaining the principles of the policy.
Demonstrating commitment and action toward safeguarding Indigenous peoples, Indigenous cultures, Indigenous values, Indigenous integrity and languages within the University of Saskatchewan spaces and resources requires reflection, active learning, and the verification of documentation. As such, application of this policy will focus on providing the education, resources, and support to meet the verification of documentation accountabilities as outlined. All members of the university community are expected to understand the need to safeguard Indigenous peoples, Indigenous cultures, Indigenous values, and Indigenous languages within the University of Saskatchewan spaces and resources and as such are responsible for the implementation of such within their scope of influence and authority.
Formal complaints under this policy will be directed to the Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement for resolution. See ‘Related Documents’.
University of Saskatchewan Policies:
- University of Saskatchewan Mission, Vision and Values
- Employment Practices Policy
- Discrimination and Harassment Prevention
- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy
- Conflict of Interest
- Fraud Deterrence Policy
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
- Safe Disclosure Policy
- Living our Values Policy
- Standard of Student Conduct in Non-Academic Matters and Procedures for Resolution of Complaints and Appeals
Associated Documents and Knowledges:
- ohpahotȃn | oohpaahotaan (Let’s fly up together)
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Canadian Human Rights Act
- Employment Equity Act
- The Saskatchewan Employment Act
- The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Métis Nation Saskatchewan MOU regarding Métis citizenship
- Collective agreements
- Traditions of the Métis, Cree, Saulteaux, Inuit, and Matriarchs of the Indigenous communities
* Indigenous: the term Indigenous in this document reflects The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) definition: “Indigenous peoples are inheritors and practitioners of unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. They have retained social, cultural, economic, and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.” Further, UNDRIP describes the right of Indigenous communities to determine their own membership in accordance with their customs and traditions.
** Documentation: as defined by Indigenous governments and conveyed to the deybwewin | tapwewin | taapwaywin Standing Committee.
If you have questions about this policy please contact:Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement