Elders gather with SAIT to create collaborative training strategy for Indigenous communities and post-secondary institutions

A photo of the SAIT campus in winter

Calgary, AB (Monday, Jan. 30, 2023) — In the spirit of strengthening meaningful Indigenous relations, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is hosting a two-day Elders Gathering on campus this week in Heritage Hall.

Working with Indigenous communities from Treaty 6, 7 and 8 territories, SAIT’s Corporate Development, Applied Research and International (CDARI) department is developing a training strategy to guide collaboration between Indigenous communities and post-secondary institutions.

CDARI is convening with the Elders to seek guidance and approval on the strategy, which aims to support socio-economic development through training and applied research. SAIT’s collaborative approach to the strategy, along with other initiatives involving Indigenous stakeholders, is vital to building a strategic framework which aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action, and meets the needs of Indigenous adult learners.

“At SAIT, we know the importance of Reconciliation and the 94 Calls to Action. We cannot do this without walking the Red Path with our Elders and leaders of the Indigenous communities. By inviting the Elders and leaders to SAIT on Treaty 7 land, it will allow us to hear the stories and their ways of teaching the Indigenous youth and peoples. We strongly believe that nothing should be done for Indigenous people without Indigenous people,” says Vis Naidoo, Associate Vice President, Continuing Education and Professional Studies, SAIT.

SAIT is committed to working with the three treaties in Alberta, guided by the TRC Calls to Action, to create systems which honour the culture and traditions of the Indigenous peoples — recognizing that this work must be done in consultation with Indigenous peoples.

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Kate Laverdure

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.