May 21, 2015 10:28 am
Updated: May 21, 2015 12:29 pm

Aboriginal graduates at University of Saskatchewan increasing

University of Saskatchewan officials expect a new aboriginal student centre will help keep the positive graduation trend going.

File / Global News

SASKATOON – The number of aboriginal students graduating from the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) has increased during each of the past five years, according to a university communications official. In 2014, 405 aboriginal students graduated from the U of S, compared to 279 in 2010, according to James Shewaga, the institutions media relations specialist.

Many at the university expect the trend to continue this year. Aboriginal students receiving their degrees will be celebrated at a graduation powwow on the morning of May 27.

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“It’s a chance to come together, celebrate culture, celebrate identity,” said Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, the U of S Director of Aboriginal Initiatives.

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University officials believe the new Gordon Oakes – Red Bear Student Centre on campus will help more aboriginal students achieve their degrees. The centre is expected to be open by the start of the next school year.

“This is a significant investment on behalf of the university to support aboriginal students and support their success,” said Graeme Joseph, U of S team leader of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Success.

“Good support systems right off the hop, addressing issues sooner rather than later, making students feel as welcome and this is their home… I think the Gordon Oakes centre provides that home,” added Wasacase-Lafferty.

The centre “will be a vibrant, inclusive gathering place that welcomes everyone – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike – to come together and learn from each other in respectful ways,” according to its website.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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