The indigenous professor’s utility was rejected on the College of Saskatchewan

This institution is to be a leader in the community. It would be great to come backexplains Mr Carrière, who is from the province.

Réal Carrière has been teaching at the University of Manitoba for years after receiving several awards for his doctoral dissertation entitled Rediscovering the Road: Decolonization of Indigenous Governance.

Enthusiasm and disappointment

At the end of last year, a position at the faculty was announced at the Department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Réal Carrière is happy at the University of Manitoba, but jumped at the chance to return home to the University of Saskatchewan.

Earlier this year, a jury consisting of Jim Waldram, head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, Winona Wheeler, a professor of native studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and five other indigenous teachers, interviewed him.

They discussed his indigenous identity for a long time. They then contacted his family and members of his community. Réal Carrière was the unanimous selection of the commission and a job offer was prepared.

Subsequently, at a second job interview with the authorized vice-rector, he was asked to provide written documents proving that he was indeed an aboriginal.

However, Mr Carrière has no written documentation of his position as he considers this to be a method colonial. To convince the administrators, the recruitment committee presented a letter from the elder, as well as various videos. But it was not enough.

Our identity has been checked for generations. Would we reduce it to a status card or a piece of paper now? Is this a real reconciliation? »

Quote from Réal Carrière, Professor at the University of Manitoba

Jim Waldram, President-in-Office of the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, dislikes Réal Carrière, but he is also angry at administrators who have disregarded the wishes of their committee of experts.

It was an expert panel of mostly indigenous researchers, but we were excluded. »

Quote from Jim Waldram, Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan

Jim Waldram is one of the original faculty members of the Department of Native Studies, founded almost 40 years ago. According to him, Réal Carrière would be a huge benefit.

Réal Carrière and his sister Michela grew up on a family trap in the northern delta of Cumberland, Saskatchewan (archives).


Réal Carrière’s family has lived in the Cree nation for generations Cumberland House and in the adjacent village of Métis, more than 400 km northeast of Saskatoon.

Her father is a world champion in canoeing and trapping. Her mother is an educator and her sister Michela is a gardener who organizes ecological trips in the Cumberland Delta.

The consequences of the Bourassa affair

Réal Carrièr’s situation is a direct result of a previous controversy at the University of Saskatchewan, said Jim Waldram and Winona Wheeler.

Late last year, Mr Wheeler and others said Professor Carrie Bourassa had made a number of false claims about her indigenous identity. She then took unpaid leave from one of her positions and resigned from Saskatchewan University earlier this month.

Following this controversy, the University of Saskatchewan and other universities set up working committees on the issue of native identity. A national conference was held in Regina this spring.

Instead of trying to eliminate fraud, we have problematic our identity and it is up to us to prove who we are. »

Quote from Winona Wheeler, Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan

Last month, Angela Jaime, acting vice president of indigenous involvement at the University of Saskatchewan and chair of the indigenous identity working committee, said the new policy should create space for indigenous peoples [et prévoir] Indigenous resources to ensure that there will be no fraudulent claims in the future.

We are working to make this funding for faculties and senior management positions even better. And we want to make it very clear that it is important for indigenous voices to occupy these areas. »

Quote from Angela Jaime, Acting Vice President of Native Engagement at the University of Saskatchewan

No representative from the university administration could be reached on Wednesday, but last month the University of Saskatchewan announced that it would adopt an indigenous identity verification policy by the autumn of next year.

With information from Jason Warick

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