In 2023, a Powwow and Métis celebration took place in September as part of fall welcome activities. Information on future events will be available later in 2024.

History of Celebrating Indigenous Students at USask

The Great Plains Dance Troupe held a powwow in the Bowl in September 1988 as part of the Welcome Week festivities. Photo: Tim Olheiser/The Sheaf
The Great Plains Dance Troupe held a powwow in the Bowl in September 1988 as part of the Welcome Week festivities. Photo: Tim Olheiser/The Sheaf


With its origins dating back to the 1980s, the university’s annual powwow was held to celebrate the academic success of Métis, First Nations and Inuit graduates from the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and local secondary schools. The powwow was also a time to celebrate the Indigenous community and culture at USask and around the province. Over the years it was held in many locations including The Bowl, Griffiths Stadium, Convocation Hall and most recently Merlis Belsher Place. In the 2010s it grew to be the largest annual Indigenous event held by the university. At this time it attracted over 2,500 participants and required over 200 volunteers to run each year. 

Initially the USask powwow was held during welcome week festivities as a Welcome Back Powwow. In 2010, it was moved to spring to celebrate the achievements of Indigenous USask and high school graduates.

In 2023 the powwow will return to the fall as part of the welcome festivities and will include Métis dancing.

 USask Graduation Powwow 2010 to 2019

Past Celebrations

Due to the pandemic, the 2022 event was a small in-person celebration that brought graduates and their families together with university leadership, faculty, staff and community to celebrate and honour their academic success. The Indigenous Graduation Celebration included an honour walk, seating for family and friends, dancing, jigging, drumming, singing, a photographer taking photos of graduates and remarks from special guests.   


The University of Saskatchewan graduates over 400 Indigenous students each academic year. The students named within the Indigenous Graduation Celebration program represent the Indigenous graduates from the classes of Fall 2019, Fall and Spring 2020 and Spring 2021 who chose to be recognized in the Indigenous graduation festivities.  

May 29, 2020 would have been the day we hosted our annual Graduation Powwow. We asked graduating SUNTEP student Tawnie Kotyk to sing the Year of the Métis Tribute and graduating ITEP student Rollin Baldhead and his group the Walking Buffalo Singers to sing an honour song to celebrate our graduates, their families and communities in a good way.
Please share their songs so they can be heard far and wide. #usaskclassof2020


These videos were made following the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s health etiquette and social distancing measures.