Powwow honours Indigenous graduates at the U of S

The University of Saskatchewan is hosting a graduation powwow for its First Nations, Metis and Inuit students today.

Hundreds of Indigenous high school, university graduates from across Saskatchewan attend annual pow wow

Hundreds of students, drummers, dancers and spectators took in this morning grand entry for the annual graduation pow wow at the University of Saskatchewan. (James Hopkin/CBC)

The University of Saskatchewan is hosting a graduation powwow for its First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.

According to the university, 425 Indigenous students have applied to graduate from the university this June. That's in addition to the 118 Indigenous students that graduated from the institution in November of 2015.

"The university wants to be a welcoming place for all students, and that includes of course Metis, First Nation and Inuit students," said Graeme Joseph with the University of Saskatchewan. "So by having these types of events, it's a clear demonstration of our commitment to that goal."

Veterans prepare to retire their staffs at the end of grand entry. (James Hopkin/CBC)

The ceremonies in the morning portion of the program will honour nearly 400 Indigenous high school graduates from First Nations across the province. In all, roughly 1300 Indigenous high school students from 39 different schools registered to attend the annual graduation pow wow. 

"We want to increase the number of aboriginal students at this university, so by holding events such as the graduation powwow, we're not only identifying a time in where we celebrate their academic achievement," said Joseph. "It also creates an important event that's held on campus each year – for almost 30 years now – that's specifically for them."

Competitions for drum groups and dancers were held throughout the day, with $25,000 in prize money to be won. (James Hopkin/CBC)