The gift of support through difficult times

For Kellie Wuttunee, family is everything. The University of Saskatchewan graduate credits the support of both her immediate and extended families for being able to achieve her challenging educational goals while also balancing the demands of being a single parent. She’s raising three children under the age of 13, all while obtaining two degrees—her master’s in social work from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2012, and now a law degree from the U of S.

“The biggest challenge has been learning to manage my time and energy well,” Kellie said of the long road she’s travelled to get to her to her 2017 convocation. “There were some really tough times. My family, friends, culture and spirituality helped me and got me through it.”

Growing up an hour west of Saskatoon, on Red Pheasant First Nation, the Nêhiyawak Cree woman said she couldn’t imagine pursing her law degree anywhere but the University of Saskatchewan. “This is home for me—I wanted to be close to my family,” she noted. “My children have been by my side the entire process of obtaining my higher education.”

David Stobbe /

Kellie was also attracted to the Program of Legal Studies for Native People at the U of S. “It’s a one-of-a-kind program in Canada, and I was so grateful to be selected,” she said. The pre-law course provided her with a solid foundation for her Juris Doctor, a degree that holds a significant family connection. Her uncle William Wuttunee, who graduated from the U of S College of Law in 1952, was the first Cree lawyer to be called to the bar in Western Canada.
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The currency of coins

Tucked away, down a long stretch of corridor in the Peter MacKinnon building, is the Museum of Antiquities. Though small in size, the room is grand in its contributions. The museum aims to offer the public a “reliable and critical account of the artistic accomplishments of major Western civilizations and epochs from approximately 3000 BC to AD 1500,” ensuring that right here on campus, the past is present for examination.

On April 28, an exhibit created exclusively upon donations by Terence Cheesman, had people pressed against cabinet glass, hoping to travel back in time. NVMISMANIA—A Celebration of Ancient Coinage showcases a sampling of ancient coins. Terence is a generous supporter of the museum and a Numismatist by trade, having spent countless hours studying and collecting coins over the years.

The depictions on the coins offer a glimpse into the social and economic culture of the time. One coin, blueish green in colour—bruised with time—depicts an ear of grain. This is an ancient Celtic bronze coin from Ilipense, Spain, dating from 150-100 BCE. Grain, as it happens, was one of the commodities that this city was known for and took pride in at the time.

Featured in the exhibit, an ancient Celtic bronze coin from Ilipense, Spain, dating from 150-100 BCE.

Director of the museum, Tracene Harvey commented, “I like to imagine that if Saskatchewan minted its own coins, this is a coin image that would be most fitting for our province.”

Tracene is proud to note that the Museum of Antiquities has recently grown their coin collection, jumping from approximately 80 to around 460 coins. The majority of these artifacts have come from Terence’s personal collection. The museum uses the coin collection extensively for the purposes of teaching, experiential learning and research, including experiments conducted by U of S students at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron. Continue reading

Global implications for new GIFS scholarship

Dr. Patrick Man Pan Yuen was just a teenager when he came to Canada from Hong Kong to study, first as a high school student in Montreal before heading west to Saskatoon to study medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.

Now, six decades later, Yuen still fondly remembers his time on campus and his mentor, Dr. Donald Baxter, and is giving back to his alma mater by establishing a major scholarship for graduate students at the U of S.

On June 1, the university announced Yuen’s gift of $1-million to establish a scholarship fund in the name of Baxter, to help graduate students from mainland China and Hong Kong study at the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS).

“Throughout my medical career, I have come to the conclusion a medical doctor can really save relatively few of his patients in his lifetime,” Yuen said, “By offering to help set up research in increasing food production to combat hunger, far more lives can be saved. I cannot think of a better place in the world than the University of Saskatchewan in fulfilling my wishes.”

Dr. Man Pan Yuen graduated from the U of S College of Medicine in 1964. He will be forever grateful for his experience at the U of S, and his time with mentor, Dr. Donald Baxter.

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Building community, one game at a time

When Daphne Arnason and Leo Bourassa heard about the Home Ice Campaign, they knew they couldn’t watch from the bench.

Having raised four children who all played the sport, Daphne and Leo were no strangers to the sport and spent many late nights and early mornings traveling to practices, and cheering on their sons at Rutherford Rink. With much of their spare time dedicated to the game, they were thankful to be in the company of a supportive and growing social circle of likeminded families. The couple not only got to know their children’s friends and parents, but siblings, cousins, grandparents and friends of the families.

Leo Bourassa and Daphne Arnason first met on campus. Both were students and their social circle was built primarily around the U of S– hockey games at Rutherford, meeting friends at the campus pub, and enjoying various organized activities. Later in life as a married couple with four children, the couple would find themselves back on their old stomping grounds, spending many days and nights at their children’s hockey practice at Rutherford.

Even when the kids got older, the relationships they had built through hockey stayed strong.  “We missed the activities when they came to an end, but the connections are quickly rekindled when we run into one another at various events,” says Daphne. “Now we can talk about enjoying the comforts of a new facility, as we follow the next generation – our grandchildren – at play.”

For Daphne and Leo, Merlis Belcher Place will not only be a state-of-the-art, multi-sport facility, but a space where relationships within our community can expand and flourish for years to come.