This institution is supposed to be a leader in the community. It would be great to come backexplains Mr. Carriere, who is originally from the province.
Réal Carrière has taught at the University of Manitoba for years, after winning several awards for his doctoral thesis entitled
Rediscovering the Path: Decolonizing Indigenous Governance.
Enthusiasm and disappointment
Late last year, a professorship was published by 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, he was interviewed by a panel comprised of the acting chair of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, Jim Waldram, Professor of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, Winona Wheeler and five other Aboriginal professors.
They discussed their Aboriginal identity at length. They then contacted her family and members of her community. Réal Carrière was the unanimous choice of the committee and a job offer was prepared.
Subsequently, in a second job interview with the Acting Vice-Rector, he was asked to present written documents to prove that he was indeed indigenous.
However, Mr. Carriere has no written documentation on its status because it considers it to be a method
colonial. To convince the administrators, the hiring committee presented a letter from an elder and several videos. But it wasn’t enough.
” Our identity has been controlled for generations. Now, would we reduce this to a status card or a piece of paper? Is this a real reconciliation? »
Acting chairman of the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, Jim Waldram, is uncomfortable with Réal Carrière, but he is also angry with administrators who have not respected the wishes of his committee of experts.
” It was an expert panel made up mainly of Aboriginal researchers, but we were excluded. »
Jim Waldram is one of the original faculty members of the Department of Native Studies, established nearly 40 years ago. According to him, Réal Carrière would have been a great asset.
The Réal Carrière family has lived for generations in the Cree Nation of Cumberland house and in the adjacent village of Métis, more than 400 km northeast of Saskatoon.
His father is a canoe-kayak and trap world champion. Her mother is an educator and her sister Michela is a horticulturist who runs ecological tours in the Cumberland Delta.
Repercussions of the Bourassa case
Réal Carrière’s situation is a direct result of an earlier controversy at the University of Saskatchewan, said Jim Waldram and Winona Wheeler.
Late last year, Wheeler and others said professor Carrie Bourassa had made numerous false claims about her Aboriginal identity. She then took unpaid leave from one of her positions and resigned earlier this month from the University of Saskatchewan.
Following this controversy, the University of Saskatchewan and other universities formed working committees on the issue of Aboriginal identity. A national conference was held in Regina this spring.
” Instead of trying to eliminate fraud, we problematize our identity and it is up to us to prove who we are. »
Last month, Angela Jaime, acting vice president for Aboriginal engagement at the University of Saskatchewan and chair of the working committee on Aboriginal identity, said the new policy should
create space for indigenous people [et prévoir] Indigenous resources to ensure there are no fraudulent claims in the future.
” We are working to do even better to secure this funding for faculty and senior management positions. And we want to make it very clear that it is important for indigenous voices to occupy these spaces. »
No representatives from the university’s administration could be reached on Wednesday, but last month the University of Saskatchewan announced that it would adopt an Indigenous identity verification policy by next fall.
With information from Jason Warick