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Students celebrated during Indigenous Achievement Week at University of Saskatchewan

Students celebrated during Indigenous Achievement Week at U of S
WATCH: Indigenous Achievement Week celebrated at the University of Saskatchewan.

Indigenous Achievement Week is held annually at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) to celebrate and recognize accomplishments of Métis, First Nations and Inuit students and faculty members.

The Indigenous Student Achievement Awards (ISAA) awarded over 40 Indigenous students in different colleges for academic accomplishments and community service on Thursday.

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“University of Saskatchewan is a leader in indigenization in the country. We have a very large proportion of [Indigenous students] — roughly about 13 per cent overall,” said U of S Aboriginal Students’ Centre team lead Graeme Joseph.

First-year Western College of Veterinary Medicine student Coral Williams was recognized at the ISAA for her academic achievements. She has carried Métis teachings into her post-secondary education.

“As I grew older and found out that I was Métis, I started to get involved and try to learn more about what we did,” Williams explained.

“I really want to go back to rural Manitoba and help collaborate modern medicine with the old ethnic backgrounds.”

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This year’s theme is ‘Indigenous knowledge systems’ which has been incorporated into different events.

“It’s a broad spectrum of things that talk about Indigenous culture — ways of knowing and being, as well as history,” Joseph said.

Joseph emphasized the ISAA is important for the entire U of S community.

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“It’s not only important for Indigenous peoples going to the institution. It’s important for all students to come here to learn about Indigenous peoples, cultural history, as well as contemporary issues,” Joseph said.

“We aren’t a minority,” Williams said.

“We can stand for ourselves and we do represent something and I do really think that’s something we should always celebrate.”

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Indigenous Achievement Week concludes Friday evening with a traditional round dance. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.