This significant addition to the E-Wing of the Health Sciences Building is part of a long-term, ongoing effort to uplift Indigenization within the health sciences. Once accompanying signage is completed, students, faculty, staff, and visitors within the Health Sciences Building will be able to learn more about the significance of the buffalo, mishkotay biziki (mish-goh-day bizih geeh), through this piece.
Titled Circle of Life & Walking in Harmony with Mother Earth, this investment by the USask Health Sciences is not just a celebration of Indigenous culture, it is the most recent in a series of initiatives to weave Indigenous teachings and representation into the physical spaces of the Health Sciences Building—a facility located on Treaty Six Territory and the homeland of the Métis.
Previous initiatives funded by the Health Sciences and led by the Indigenous Space and Visual Symbols in the Health Sciences Committee include the installation of Indigenous symbols onto glass panels in the E-Wing and D-Wing of the Health Sciences Building and the Orange Shirt Day collaboration with Shop USask and local Indigenous artist Kevin Peeace. The committee is also nearing completion of bringing photographic prints by Dr. Ivar Mendez and accompanying powwow teachings to meeting room GD04.
This work would not have been possible without the respectful collaboration of all committee members and guest advisors. The dedication, insight, and effort they have provided in order to share these initiatives with the USask community is greatly appreciated.
Members of the Indigenous Space and Visual Symbols in the Health Sciences Committee who collaborated on this project include:
- Holly Graham
- Robert Badger
- Patti Tait
- Candace Wasacase-Lafferty
- Louise Halfe
- Crystal Maslin
- Chris O’Grady
- Collin Semenoff
- Lisa Woods
- Curtis Larson
- Susan Fillo
- Valerie Arnault-Pelletier (co-chair)
- Adam Baxter-Jones (co-chair)
Special thanks to Ace Lafond and the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op (CNYC) for constructing and installing the case for the buffalo robe. Blair Barbeau from the College of Arts and Science also provided invaluable guidance related to the logistics of preserving and displaying this work.
The Health Sciences and the Indigenous Space and Visual Symbols in the Health Sciences Committee encourages everyone in the USask community to stop by the E-Wing of the Health Sciences Building and experience Circle of Life & Walking in Harmony with Mother Earth.
A date for a ceremony has not yet been confirmed to acknowledge the inclusion of the buffalo robe in the E-Wing. Once plans have been finalized, invitations will be sent to the USask community.