Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC)

The Aboriginal Advisors’ Circle (AAC) began as a support for Indigenous advisors and other staff members who wanted a place to share information and ideas and the opportunity to support one another. Since it began in 2002, the membership of the group has grown to comprise of academic advisors and co-ordinators who work exclusively or extensively with Indigenous students, as well as others who provide supports and services for Indigenous students. In 2018, the group was renamed the Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC). Members of the IAC are most often the people most connected to Indigenous students, their families and Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan and beyond.

The Indigenous Advisory Circle exists to:

  1. make recommendations to the Advising Council on issues related to the academic, social and cultural advising of Indigenous students;
  2. make recommendations to the Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Experience, and the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement on matters related to the retention and success of Indigenous students;
  3. support one another, distribute information and share best practices, and
  4. advocate for professional learning opportunities for IAC members.

The Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC) creates a welcoming, understanding and supportive university environment that enables Indigenous students to succeed and achieve their academic goals.  

The IAC is a space of…

  • respect, recognition and reciprocity in relationships.
  • belonging and safety, and community.
  • open dialogue and collaboration.
  • sihtoskatowin - [people] supporting, working and helping each other.
  • achievement and celebration.

 IAC is also a space where…

  • Indigenous languages and cultures are visible and respected.
  • Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are valued.
  • the learning environment is barrier-free and accessible.
  • staff have the freedom to speak as well as be heard.
  • opportunities are created for transformative learning and practice for all.

The IAC adopts the following values and principles to guide its relationships and the way it carries out its mandate within the larger community of the University of Saskatchewan.

 In relationship to ourselves:

  • love (self-care);
  • kitipīmsowin—autonomy;
  • walking our truth;
  • personal integrity;
  • self-reflective;
  • assessing and reassessing what we know and how;
  • humility;
  • let go/be present; and
  • being mindful of the energy we bring.

 In relationship to students and colleagues in our respective colleges, units and offices:

  • respect - knowing students, listening/understanding, honour people/students where they are at;
  • honesty - constructive assessment and feedback;
  • humility - okay with mistakes;
  • trust - elimination of fear; approaching without fear;
  • benevolence; and
  • perseverance through resilience.

 In relationship to the university:

  • nitotātowin - active listening; teachable spirit;
  • wahkohtowin or wangotowin - relatedness, a circular relationship, kinship, and interconnectedness;
  • ayiseyiniw pīkiskwēwina - Indigenous languages and pimātisiwina - cultures;
  • nahīyitamowin - balance in two world, teamwork and harmony;
  • kistēyihtamowin - honouring and respecting difference; collective well-being;
  • wīcihitowin - sharing and selflessness;
  • miyo- wīcihitowin - getting along with others, community and connectivity;
  • sharing knowledge - wisdom and seven directions;
  • valuing multiple ways of knowing and being (diversity of journeys);
  • inclusive, humility, bravery and honesty (leading other PSC, making mistakes and educating others); and
  • social meritocracy.

 In relationship to the Indigenous community:

  • mutual respect,
  • recognition, and
  • reciprocity.