Fri, 28 February 2020

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM CST

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Marquis Hall

University of Saskatchewan

97 Campus Drive

Saskatoon, SK S7N 4L3

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Location: Garry Room, Marquis Hall 97 Campus Drive, Saskatoon

Overview Agenda

8:30 am


9:00 am

Welcome (emcees)

9:05 am

Entrance of the Vice-Regal Party 

9:10 am

Opening prayer and grounding remarks

9:20 am

Treaty Six Honour Song and Métis National Anthem

9:25 am

Opening remarks: Peter Stoicheff, President and Vice-Chancellor

9:40 am

Speaker: His Honour the Hon. Russ Mirasty, Governor General of Saskatchewan

10:00 am

Conversation Circles

10:30 am


10:45 am

Speaker: Phil Fontaine, Former National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

11:15 am

Conversation Circles

11:45 am


12:30 pm

Performance: dancers

12:45 pm

Afternoon welcome (emcees)

12:50 pm

Story: gifting of the event name

1:00 pm

Afternoon opening remarks: Tony Vannelli, Provost and Vice-President Academic

1:10 pm

Speaker: Kathleen Mahoney, Professor, University of Calgary

1:40 pm

Conversation circles

2:10 pm


2:25 pm

Speaker: Willie Ermine, Professor Emeritus, First Nations University of Canada

2:55 pm

Conversation circles

3:25 pm

Witness Remarks

4:00 pm

Closing Remarks: Jackie Ottmann, Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement

4:15 pm

Closing Prayer

4:20 pm

Performance: Celebration dance

4:45 pm

Event concludes


The format of this year’s forum is interactive and dialogue-focused with themes such as: Educational Policy and Racism; Ethical Space; Indigenous Wellness; and ReconciliACTION.

The organizing committee is very pleased to highlight the following guest speakers:



Peter Stoicheff, President, University of Saskatchewan, joined the USask faculty in 1986, served as dean of the College of Arts and Science from 2011 to 2015 and was named president in 2015. Under his leadership, the university has embraced a mission, vision and values statement that links its past with its future, and guides its ambitions through an innovative university plan that integrates the institutional commitments to learning and discovery, Indigenous engagement, and the value of arts and culture in today's communities – to be the university the world needs.


Tony Vannelli, Provost, University of Saskatchewan, is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering. The Provost provides leadership to USask's College and Schools and works in collaboration with our deans and executive directors to deliver on USask's academic strategy. Working with the university community and leadership, he focuses on strengthening and enhancing academic programs to maintain a strong student and faculty experience.


His Honour, the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. He joined the RCMP in 1976 as one of only two Indigenous cadets in his troop and retired as Assistant Commissioner in 2013. He helped lead the Student First Engagement process which informed the development of a province-wide education strategy. He was appointed to Saskatchewan’s Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction, and served on the board of the McDowell Foundation, which supports research, inquiry, and sharing of information for the K to 12 education system.


Kathleen Mahoney is a Calgary-based lawyer and Professor of Law at the University of Calgary. She served as Chair of the Board of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development for six years. As Chief Negotiator for the Assembly of First Nations for the Residential School Settlement Agreement, she was a major architect of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She also led the negotiations for the historic apology from the Canadian Parliament and from Pope Benedict XVI for injustices to Indigenous peoples.


Phil Fontaine, Former Chief of Assembly of First Nations, is an advocate for the future of Canada and for our indigenous peoples. The TRC credits him for placing the issue of residential schools on the national agenda when in October 1990 he spoke publicly about the abuse that he and his fellow students had experienced at the Fort Alexander school. In 2005, he successfully negotiated the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which includes a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2009, he met with Pope Benedict XVI to obtain an apology for abuses that occurred in First Nations schools.


Willie Ermine, Assistant Professor, First Nations University of Canada, is from Sturgeon Lake First Nation. Willie lectures in the areas of humanities, Indigenous studies, education, and research methods. He has published numerous academic articles including a widely read academic paper entitled “Ethical Space.” He has worked extensively with Elders in his research. His continuing interests include promoting ethical practices of research, developing the concept of ethical space and creating new currents of thought that flow in different directions and overrun the old ways of thinking.


Message from our Forum Chair:

 “We are humbled to have the opportunity to bring in these speakers for the forum. One of our goals is that participants become empowered and garner resources and tools to help them take action on reconciliation and Indigenization in their own lives.”

- Matt Dunn, OVPIE Indigenization and Reconciliation Coordinator and this year’s forum committee Chair 


About this Year's Event

māmowi āsohtētān (Let’s Cross This Together)

pronounced: maah-ma-wih aah-soh-day-daan

3rd Annual Building Reconciliation Internal Forum

Please join us for an open gathering for the USask community.

Now in its third year, this daylong event is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and provides another opportunity to gather and to constructively and respectfully dialogue and plan for the university environment we need and want.

The event will be interactive and dialogue-focused that will feature the themes of:

  • Educational Policy and Racism
  • Ethical Space
  • Indigenous Wellness
  • ReconciliACTION