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USask Department of Indigenous Studies celebrates 40 years of ‘indigenizing the academy’ – USask News

Sep 5, 2023

Indigenous Studies started as a grassroots movement by Indigenous students in the 1970s.

When a group of Indigenous students started a grassroots movement four decades ago to create a department that focused on Indigenous Studies, their actions were the beginning of a larger impact on academia on a local and international scale.

On Sept. 22, the Department of Indigenous Studies will hold a 40th anniversary celebration to recognize its alumni, students, staff, and faculty, and accomplishments from the past 40 years. The event will be celebrating its graduates and “Indigenizing the Academy since 1983.”

“We’ll be bringing together alumni and hearing their voices—especially the early alumni, the folks that pushed for the department,” said Métis scholar Dr. Allyson Stevenson (PhD), the Gabriel Dumont Institute Chair in Métis Studies. “The early student activists demanded that a space be created to learn about their histories in ways that reflected their accurate historical Indigenous perspective.”

“We want to empower students today through understanding how Indigenous students organized the ways in which they utilized the institutional structures to push for the department,” she said.

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