National Aboriginal Day – Message from Dr. Lloyd Axworthy

pOW wOW 2 webEvery Tuesday evening, 50 to 70 people gather on our campus in a multi-generational Pow Wow Club. It is a rich and colourful community celebration and a vivid reminder that The University of Winnipeg is located on Treaty One land, in the heart of the Metis Nation, a treaty that promises educational opportunities for First Nations people. It is our privilege to honour this commitment and tap into the diverse talents in our community by offering relevant programs and supports to attract and retain Indigenous students.

UWinnipeg has developed strong partnerships with a broad network including Indigenous governments, scholars, organizations, Elders and community members to create a respectful, and inclusive educational experience. Our Board of Regents approved the creation of an Indigenous Advisory Circle to ensure the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives in the University’s governance and decision making.

Learning to dance at UWinnipeg’s weekly Pow Wow Club

Winnipeg has the fastest growing urban Indigenous populations in Canada and UWinnipeg proudly reflects this reality. UWinnipeg is one of the top universities in the country for Indigenous participation, with approximately 12% of our student body comprised of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.

We continue to reach out to Indigenous children and adults in our surrounding neighbourhood to break down barriers to post-secondary education and tackle the graduation gap. UWinnipeg offers a number of innovative programs and pathways for higher education through our Community Learning Initiatives, including the Opportunity Fund, which has awarded more than 1,400 fast-track bursaries to primarily Indigenous students.

It is my deep honour to carry the name Waapshki Pinaysee Inini White Thunderbird Man, and to have participated in a sacred Pipe Ceremony recognizing our efforts in creating a learning experience that reflects Indigenous cultures and traditions.

On behalf of the University of Winnipeg community on this National Aboriginal Day,

Miigwetch, Ekosi and Thank You
Dr. Lloyd Axworthy
President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of Winnipeg

 

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