University of Winnipeg: Celebrating Indigenous graduates virtually
May 14, 2021
The University of Winnipeg is celebrating Indigenous graduates with a special virtual convocation on Wednesday, June 9.
Thanks to the incredible work of Jeffrey Booth, Randy White, and Tim Coughlan at the Aboriginal Student Services Centre, there will be a pre-recorded ceremony in lieu of the annual Spring Pow Wow.
“We are very proud of our Indigenous graduates, who have shown great resilience in reaching this point,” said Dr. James Currie, Interim President of The University of Winnipeg. “While we cannot be together in-person, graduates and their families, friends and supporters, professors, and staff of the University are united in celebration!”
This unique celebration will include messages from UWinnipeg’s senior administration, including Dr. Currie, as well as Elders and dignitaries from the community.
“Traditionally, the University community celebrates Indigenous graduates at the annual Spring Pow Wow and we felt it was important to continue honouring their achievements and successes despite not being able to gather in person” said White, Transition Year Program Coordinator
“We were thinking about ways to honour our Indigenous graduates this year and trying to create a unique ceremony,” Booth explained. “Bringing culture into our celebration is very important not only for the students, but the University as well.”
Along with messages, there will be traditional songs by Elder Dan Thomas, Walking Wolf Drum Group, Inuit throat singer Nikki Komaksiutiksak, and Métis performances by Keith and Morgan Ginther.
“It is of the utmost importance for students’ cultures to be reflected in their grad (and other) ceremonies, so they know that the ceremony is centered on them, their lives, their loved ones, and their nations,” said Elder Thomas.
Graduates who register will also have the option of posting a short video message when they are recognized during the ceremony.
“We look forward to celebrating our Indigenous culture and the community coming together to acknowledge our students’ academic achievements,” said Booth.
If you’re a Métis, Inuit, or First Nations’ graduate and would like to be honoured at this event, please email Randy White at [email protected] for a link to the registration form. The deadline to register is Friday, May 28.
Brandon Logan, Digital Communications Coordinator
The University of Winnipeg