University of Saskatchewan aboriginal enrolment up

SASKATOON – Aboriginal student enrolment continues to increase at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). Roughly 2,200 indigenous minds study at the Saskatoon-based institution, according to fall enrolment numbers.

That’s an increase of 5.5 per cent from last year and accounts for around 10 per cent of the university’s student body.

Officials say the increase hasn’t happened overnight.

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“The University of Saskatchewan is a leader in aboriginal post-secondary education,” said Graeme Joseph, U of S team leader of aboriginal student success.

“There’s colleagues here that I have that have worked literally decades to making this place a much more welcoming and supportive place for our aboriginal students so I think we’re seeing the beginning of the results of all of that hard work.”

The college of arts and science has the most aboriginal students, followed by education and nursing.

While Joseph is happy to see a hike in aboriginal student enrolment, he stresses the university must ensure students are supported on campus.

“I’m excited that more aboriginal students are choosing the U of S as their place of study,” he said. “We are committed not only to recruiting more aboriginal students, but proactively supporting them throughout their studies to graduation. This is the ultimate goal for students, the university and the wider community – more aboriginal people with university degrees.”

According to Statistics Canada, nearly one in five residents in Saskatchewan will be aboriginal by 2036.

Joel Senick contributed to this story

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