Eyes on the prize

belinda-danielsTeacher and U of S sessional lecturer and alumna Belinda Daniels.


A University of Saskatchewan alumna and sessional lecturer has been shortlisted for one of the world’s top honours in the field of education.

Belinda Daniels (BEd’98, MEduc’05), a teacher of Cree and Indigenous Studies at Mount Royal Collegiate and a PhD student in the U of S interdisciplinary studies program, is included in the top 50 for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize. The final ten candidates will be announced in February, and the winner chosen in March at a special ceremony in Dubai.

The only Canadian to make the short list, Daniels believes in the strong connection between language and identity, seeking to create pride and self-esteem in her Cree students by teaching their history, traditional knowledge of the land, and proficiency in their language and texts.

See more at Global Saskatoon.

Happy holidays to our U of S alumni


A message from Peter Stoicheff, President.

As we head into the holiday season, I want to take a moment to wish our family of 147,000 alumni happy holidays and all the best in 2016. I know 2016 is going to be a great year for our university as we continue to take our well-earned place among the best.

I look forward to opportunities to meet with our alumni in the new year, and hope you will watch beyond the bowl for more information on the 2016 president’s tour.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season spent with your loved ones.

Peter Stoicheff, President


A good journey

Delvin Kanewiyakiho (BA'92, BEd'94, M.Ed'09)

Delvin Kanewiyakiho (BA’92, BEd’94, M.Ed’09)


WRITTEN BY: Derrick Kunz (BComm’96), Communications Consultant, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools

Literary heavyweights Hemingway and Tolkien, Greek philosopher Heraclitus and even reggae legend Bob Marley have all famously commented on the value of the journey—encounters and experiences that not only make one’s life fuller and richer, they shape who we are.

Delvin Kanewiyakiho, First Nations and Métis cultural consultant with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools uses his own encounters and experiences to give students a good start along their journey. Being the recipient of Indspire’s 2015 Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Award in the Language, Culture and Traditions category is a good indication he’s on the right track.

Kanewiyakiho’s journey began as Delvin Kennedy. The son of Alberta lumber camp workers—his was a mom a cook, and his dad was a sawyer—was raised on Little Pine First Nation, just off the Yellowhead Highway, about 60 kilometres northwest of North Battleford.

The First Nation was the ideal training ground for Kanewiyakiho’s career as a teacher and cultural consultant. He explained, “Little Pine was once a teaching reserve. In 1905, we had 20 specialists. All the bands south of Battle River went to Little Pine to learn ceremony.

“I have always been steeped in culture,” he continued. “I learned from my parents and grandparents; I always heard Cree [language]; playing sports, at school, talking with friends, it was always in Cree.”

After high school, Kanewiyakiho went to university at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah. The birthplace of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (Mormons) may not seem like a logical place for a young Plains Cree man to go to school, but their indigenous dance troupe attracted Kanewiyakiho to the Greater Salt Lake area.

“I had an eyeful and an earful. I was always in my culture, living First Nations culture, loving it, espousing it,” Kanewiyakiho said of his three years as a member the troupe of Polynesian, Native American and Latino American dancers who toured Southeast Asia, South America and Europe.

Kanewiyakiho returned home and earned his bachelors of arts and education degrees at the University of Saskatchewan. Before earning his master’s degree at that U of S, he taught at St. Mary’s Community School, and later Oskāyak High School—both schools with high Aboriginal student enolment.

Inside the classroom and out—leading the powwow dance troupe, teaching powwow drumming to students, and working with elders for ceremonies, feasts and round dances—Kanewiyakiho knew, from his own experience, the importance of helping students feel culturally connected.

“Students, whether they are First Nations or not, or new-comers to Canada, come in with gifts and skills, and I think that when you teach culture and language and traditions, you are adding more arsenal for success. If a child is feeling good about who they are and they are accepted as a culturally located person, then the sky is the limit.” Kanewiyakiho stated that understanding First Nations and Métis culture is not only important to learn as part of our national history, it encourages non-indigenous students to learn about their own culture and heritage and grow as individuals.

Kanewiyakiho’s journey and personal growth included a name change 10 years ago. “It was part of a healing process for me. When I was 17 years old, I was given my Cree name. It dawned on me; I came to an epiphany after some soul searching. So I decided to change my surname to Kanewiyakiho as part of my healing.”

His name is also a teaching tool. “When I meet people, they want to know my name. It’s a good teaching point because they want to know how to pronounce it and what it means.” (It is pronounced gah-nay-wee-yah-gee-hoo and means “he comes from directions” referencing the four winds.)

As a First Nations and Métis consultant with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Kanewiyakiho is working with administrators and teachers to incorporated indigenous culture, tradition and ceremony throughout the division. Part of that includes developing First Nations and Métis curriculum for kindergarten through Grade 12 students.

When asked how he is going about that monumental task, he said “Everything that I have learned form mentors and guides has been done in the spirit of relationship … everything is done in association with someone else. It is relationships that have taught me to communicate better, to be more accepting of people and to understand where people come from more.

“Getting along in a good way—mîyo-wîcêtowin—in the spirit of kinship or relationship— wâhkôhtowin—that’s made the difference for me; that’s what I have learned from the elders and through my own trial and error. I’ve come to understand you need good relationships to have success.”

Kanewiyakiho credits his elders, guides and mentors for the Indspire award. He’s also curious about the lives and accomplishments of fellow nominees, “not to compare; to learn from them and maybe improve my journey.” After a short, reflective pause, Kanewiyakiho humbly concludes, “I’ve had a good journey so far.”

Indspire’s Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Awards will be awarded in Calgary on November 13.

Third time’s a charm for Vanderhaeghe


Prolific writer and U of S alumnus Guy Vanderhaeghe (BA’71, Arts’72, MA’75, DLitt’97) has, for the third time in his career, won the Governor General’s Literary Award.

Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, his first short story collection in more than 20 years, won the fiction prize. He previously won in 1996 for his novel The Englishman’s Boy as well as in 1982 for Man Descending, a collection of short stories.

Read more at CBC News.

U of S alumnus serves under both Trudeaus

ralph2Ralph Goodale was two years out of law school when he was elected as a member of parliament (MP) under the late Pierre Trudeau.

With Justin Trudeau poised to become Canada’s 23rd prime minister, Goodale (LLB’72) is the only MP to work with both Trudeaus.

He told CBC News about meeting Justin for the first time in 1974—toted in his dad’s arms.

“He was carrying Justin under his arm like a sack of flour,” he said. “I remember Justin was squirming around a little bit, like little boys really do.”

Goodale has been a fixture in Saskatchewan politics for several decades, the majority of which as an MP, but he also served in the provincial legislature. After some time in private sector, he ultimately returned to the federal scene in 1993.

Read the full story at CBC Saskatchewan.

The Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence


Alumni Cheryl Kloppenburg (BA’70, Arts’71, LLB’75, MA’75) and Henry Kloppenburg (BA’65, LLB’68) created the annual Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence to celebrate a Saskatchewan writer who has written a substantial body of literary work.


By: Shannon McConnell, MFA in Writing, University of Saskatchewan


There is something comforting watching the Rocky Mountains slip into hills, then slowly melt into the rolling prairies around my car as the kilometers increased between me and my home on the West Coast. As a born and raised British Columbian, I had only heard stories about what it was like east of the Rocky Mountains. The promise of an abundant and welcoming arts community for writers drew me to move to Saskatoon to do my Master of Fine Arts in Writing program at the University of Saskatchewan.

As a new resident to the city, I was grateful for the opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse into the writing community in Saskatoon. The day before the award was to be given out, I had the opportunity to sit down with the Kloppenburgs at the University of Saskatchewan’s University Club and learn about their life in Saskatoon, their law practice and their passion for giving back to the province for which they have planted their roots.

The first thing that I learned, was that the Kloppenburgs are very welcoming people. Being born and raised in Saskatchewan, it is clear that the province and its people hold a great significance for them.

Henry Kloppenburg was born and raised in Humboldt, SK, and in 1996 established the 159 acre Kloppenburg Wildlife Refuge near Humboldt to protect the natural wildlife in the area. His educational pursuits took him from to the University of Saskatchewan, all the way to Oxford University, UK where he was a Rhodes Scholar of Exeter College. Added to his impressive accomplishments, he served as a Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2011.

Cheryl Kloppenburg, like her husband, is a tremendously accomplished lawyer, having completed her entire post-secondary education at the University of Saskatchewan, where in 2007 she was named as one of 100 Alumni of Influence in the University’s first 100 years. Alongside her educational achievement, Cheryl has a strong desire to support, recognize and advance art and culture in Canada. Her passion for public service can be seen through her involvement with improving health care and social services, through serving as a board member and president of the Victorian Order of Nurses Saskatoon Branch for many years.

Despite their many accomplishments abroad and throughout Canada, the Kloppenburgs chose Saskatoon as the destination to grow their law practice. Between the two of them, they have been practicing law for 83 years, which has allowed them to connect personally with the community in Saskatoon. They now divide their time between their law practice and their philanthropy work in which they generously give back to and support the community that cultivated them.

In 2011, the Kloppenburgs donated a 55-piece collection of Inuit art, which is a culmination of 40 years of collecting. The display of several dozen artists from different communities in the Canadian Arctic can be seen in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. Unlike some collectors, the Kloppenburgs don’t hoard artworks and keep them in storage, but rather they collect them to share them with the people of Saskatoon.

In a similar vein, Saskatchewan has a long history of producing renowned writers who have made significant contributions to literature in Canada. Knowing the talent that the province has, the Kloppenburgs felt that writers in Saskatchewan weren’t getting the recognition that they deserved. In 2010, Henry and Cheryl created the annual Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence thereby fostering an avenue to acknowledge and celebrate a Saskatchewan writer who has written a substantial body of literary work. The winner receives an award of $10,000, a framed print from esteemed Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles and is publicly recognized at a ceremony attended by a great number of their peers and local dignitaries. Each year, Henry and Cheryl Kloppenburg take great pride in being able to present the award to the chosen writer.

The 2015 ceremony took place on September 15th at the distinguished Saskatoon Club, which holds over 100 years of history in the Central Business District of the city. Despite being a rainy overcast day, the mood inside the prestigious main dining room of the club was exciting, with an undeniable curiosity palpable amongst the congregation. Great pains are always taken to maintain the anonymity of the winner, which only adds to the intrigue on the day.

Among those in the know were, of course, Henry, Cheryl and the winner, all of whom were required to keep the recipient’s identity under wraps until the moment the announcement is made. Adding to the prestige of the event the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Schofield, was in attendance to pass on her congratulations.

It was during the bustling moments before the ceremony, when everyone had gathered in the club, that I first observed the true camaraderie of the writing community in Saskatoon. From an outsider’s perspective, the room full of writers and dignitaries appeared more like a reunion rather than an awards ceremony. There was a sense that in Saskatchewan’s tightknit writing community all the faces are familiar and all hold each other’s works in high regard.

The newest winner of the Kloppenburg Award would be joining the ranks with enormously accomplished writers. Previous recipients of the Kloppenburg include: novelist and short story writer, Sandra Birdsell (2014), novelist, dramatist and short story writer, Diane Warren (2013), novelist Sharon Butala (2012), poet Lorna Crozier (2011) and novelist and short story writer, Guy Vanderhaeghe (2010).

Before unveiling the winner and the beautiful print by Dorothy Knowles, Henry and Cheryl spoke about the inspiration behind the Kloppenburg. The Kloppenburg Award holds an extra weight of importance, because no other province has a comparable award that showcases the talent of writers in their community. Appropriately, that same community broke out in applause for one of their own, when Cheryl announced the 2015 winner of the Kloppenburg Award, novelist and poet David Carpenter.



2015 winner of the Kloppenburg Award, former University of Saskatchewan English professor David Carpenter


David Carpenter, born and raised in Edmonton, has called Saskatchewan home for himself and his wife, Honor Kever, since the 1970s. He has been producing significant literary work for over 35 years. A prominent veteran Canadian writer, Carpenter’s works have spanned many genres, including: literary and personal essays, novels, short fiction and poetry. He is known for using humour, poignancy and captivating characters in his work, which often explores different aspects of the Western Canadian experience, including hunting, fishing, the seasons, exploration and occasionally murder. He has also served as editor of The Literary History of Saskatchewan, Volumes 1 and 2, which examines “Cree writing in Saskatchewan as it emerges from the oral tradition to printed works, to poets, novelists and dramatists of the twentieth century.”

David Carpenter had previously attended the award ceremony, but never expected to actually someday be a recipient. In a short speech, he recognized that this award is an opportunity for the literary community in Saskatchewan to appreciate their own and that “writers dream of success, but expect the opposite.” Acknowledging the elite group that he now found himself a member of, he admitted that he was “bursting with gratitude” with being the newest recipient of the Award.

In particular he drew attention to the fact that in spite of how the province relies on an extractive economy, it is home to a vibrant arts community and “there are things created here that can’t be measured on a balance sheet or in metric tons.” To the delight of those in attendance, Carpenter read an excerpt from a new work of fiction, “The Listener” that follows the lives of two clockmaker brothers in Canada.

Notably and somewhat fittingly, Carpenter has served as a mentor for the Master of Fine Arts in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan, giving a developing writer one-on-one critique and support through their thesis writing, thus bringing a new generation into the Saskatoon writers’ circle and perhaps inspiring a future Kloppenburg winner in the process. Previously, Carpenter has also served on the faculty of the English Department at the University of Saskatchewan.

As I begin my journey in the MFA in Writing program at the U of S, I am greatly looking forward to crossing paths and building relationships with many of those in the Saskatoon writing community. As a developing writer, the Kloppenburg Award means that the strong artistic community in Saskatoon is valued and appreciated, and the work and talent that is fostered in the city is important. It is something to aspire to and a comfort to know that there are people out there, like the Kloppenburgs, who are willing to recognize the sort of contribution that can’t be, as Carpenter observed, recorded on a Balance Sheet.

Shannon McConnell grew up in Surrey, British Columbia. She is currently pursuing a MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan.

Alumna makes Fortune list


A U of S alumna working for one of the largest multinational corporations in the world recently made Fortune magazine’s list of the most powerful women.

Carolyn Tastad, currently the group president, North America for Procter and Gamble (P&G) graduated with a bachelor of commerce (honours) in 1983. That same year, she started her career at P&G Canada as an analyst. In her 32 years with the company, she has worked throughout North America, leading business development, strategy, operations and brand integration. She also spent seven years in Switzerland, overseeing global operations for some of P&G’s largest brands.

Read her full profile at Fortune.com.

Richard Florizone named Dalhousie’s president

Florizone1.jpgDalhousie University’s Board of Governors has named Richard Florizone as the university’s 11th president, a term that will begin July 1, 2013.

As vice-president finance and resources at the U of S since 2005, Florizone oversaw the financial operations of $900 million annual expenditures and $500 million of capital project initiatives. He remains a fellow of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

“During his years with the U of S, Richard accomplished many initiatives, one the most prominent being the building of additional student residences at the U of S for the first time in over 30 years,” said Ilene Busch-Vishniac, U of S president and vice-chancellor, in a statement. “I hope you will join me in wishing Richard great success in his new career.”
Florizone graduated from the U of S in the engineering physics program and later earned his Master’s in Physics from the U of S and his PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Other U of S alumni currently serving as presidents at other universities include:
Alaa S. Abd-El-Aziz (PhD’89), University of Prince Edward Island
Alan Wildeman(BSc’75, MSc’77), University of Windsor
Doyle Donald Anderson (MBA’97, PhD’09), First Nations University of Canada
Gary Kachanoski (BSc’75, MSc’80), Memorial University

U of S Alumni Association approves new governance

AGM Banner.jpg
At the June 20 University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), a special resolution was passed, approving new general bylaws for the association.
“The governance changes ensure that we have the best processes in place to effectively attain the board’s objectives developed in our new strategic plan for 2012-15” said Jason Aebig (BA’99) outgoing association president.
The changes will also enable the association’s work to better align with the university’s strategic direction, explained Aebig. “We met with many people at the U of S to discuss how alumni can support the university, whether through faculty and student recruitment, or helping with fundraising efforts and volunteer engagement.”
The AGM also held a volunteer recognition ceremony that acknowledged close to 450 volunteers that have given their time and effort in support of the university and the association. The association paid special tribute to outgoing U of S President Peter MacKinnon for his years of service.
Additionally, in recognition of exceptional service, affinity and support of the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association, the association also approved Honorary Alumni Status for Bill and Betty Albritton and for Wendy (Bates) Field.
The association also voted to approve the following members for its board of directors:
For one year terms to begin immediately following the AGM and ending June 2013:
Maria Lynn Freeland (JD’86) Prince Albert, SK
Bryan Harvey (BSA’60, MSc’61) Saskatoon, SK
Judy MacMillan (BSA’79) Saskatoon, SK
Delva Rebin (BA’58) Saskatoon, SK
Jan Williams Russell (BSHEc’73) Saskatoon, SK
Jonathan Troyer (BA’99, LLB’01) Calgary, AB
For two year terms to begin immediately following the AGM and ending June 2014:
Tanyann Belaney (LLB’05) Regina, SK
Wayne Evanisky (BCOMM’77) Saskatoon, SK
Peter Zakreski (BA’61) Saskatoon, SK
Sean Junor (BA’00) Saskatoon, SK
Peter Stroh (BSc’70; Bed’75; MED’85)
The following member continues as the Alumni Association’s University of Regina Senate representative for the second of a three year term ending in June 2014:
Ms. Sandra Schnell (BA’88, LLB’91) Regina, SK
The following member continues as the Alumni Association’s University of Saskatchewan Senate representative for the second of a three year term ending in June 2014:
Mr. Brent Banda (BCOMM’97; MBA ’01) Saskatoon, SK
The following individual will continue as ex-officio member of the University Of Saskatchewan Alumni Association Board Of Directors:
Melana Soroka, (BA’84) Executive Director (as appointed by the University)
All reports from the June 20, 2012 AGM are available on the Alumni Association AGM webpage.
For more information, please contact:
Melana Soroka
Executive Director,
University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association
(306) 966-1247 or 1-800-699-1907

Searching for the owner of a 50-year old wedding ring

Alumni Logo Decal_Sept_2010.jpg
The search is on for the owners of a mysterious wedding ring, found in a Saskatoon garden by Colleen Christensen, Executive Director of the Feeds Innovation Institute here at the University of Saskatchewan.
The ring is extra special—because according to the engraving found on the inside—J & J 8/9/62—the owner of this ring will soon be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
The ring was found entwined in a bunch of lilies that were originally dug up from Christensen’s family farm in Young, meaning the owners could potentially be from Young, or a past owner of her home in Saskatoon. With the possibility of the owner being a U of S alumnus, Christensen is even more determined to find them.
Christensen has checked all the owners of her Saskatoon home back to 1960 through the Henderson’s directory, but there’s been no match of initials. She’s also searched through the Star Phoenix microfiche for August and September of 1962 but hasn’t found a match there either.
“If anybody knows somebody who’s approaching a 50th wedding anniversary with the initials J and J, that would be a way to find them,” Christensen said.
If you have any information on the potential owner of the ring, please contact Colleen Christensen at (306) 966-4154.

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