nytimes.com - 9 days ago
A College Built for Canadian Settlers Envisions an Indigenous Future
Dancers and dignitaries prepared for the grand entry at the graduation powwow on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon in May.
The ceremony is one example of how the university is incorporating aboriginal belief systems and traditional knowledge. SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — On a recent brilliant morning, the University of Saskatchewan transformed its college green into a powwow arena, with white canvas tepees, drum circles and lines of young women braiding their hair and affixing eagle plumes in preparation for graduation festivities. The university’s founders could hardly have imagined such a sight. The college was built in the last century, modeled on the great American and British universities. It was imagined as a grand preserve of Western thought for the children of Canadian settlers, then flooding into the country’s youngest province in the prairies. Indigenous students were not banned, but they were not welcomed either. Now, all that has changed.
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