College Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
In the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, we extend our respect and commit to honouring our collective diversities, including but not limited to ethnicity, culture, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, ability, disability, health, socio-economic status, class, and religion. We stand witness to the harms and collective impacts of colonization toward the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and from across the globe, and we pay homage to their ways of knowing, their deep wisdoms, and understandings of Mother Earth.
We are committed to addressing the barriers and ideologies that prevent access to an inclusive, safe, and empowering learning and work environment. The College aims to provide graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with structures and practices that enable them to thrive and have agency in their education, training, and research. We strive to support and help facilitate practices and beliefs that equally value diverse perspectives, worldviews, paradigms, ways of knowing, and methods of knowledge creation that seek to understand the world and its various beauties and phenomena. We approach this work through consistent, meaningful conversations and reciprocal relationships with graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, staff, and other community members focused on creating change. As such, this work takes a human first approach where everyone’s unique strengths and values are honoured through reciprocity and right relations.
Together we will ensure that graduate education provides spaces where students develop and create freely, where they can embody themselves wholly, grounding themselves through their identities, communities, and cultures, as ways to succeed in their unique pursuits of understanding the world. Through our collective, collegial pursuits, we can disrupt and dismantle inherent power imbalances and barriers within academia and embrace a spirit of equity where policies, procedures, and practices are enacted fairly, transparently, and respectfully. Our academic pursuits need culturally responsive frameworks where everyone is equally supported, recognized, celebrated, and honoured so they may experience belonging within our community and no one is left behind. In doing so we will confront enactments of racism, misogyny, and white supremacy that do harm to, and limit belonging within, the College’s community of scholars.
The principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion that guide our practices in the College include:
Manācihitowin1- the foundational requirement for equity, diversity, and inclusion is to respect one another. On the path forward, we value and admire the diverse philosophies, paradigms, and worldviews that when woven together create deeper and more enriched understandings of the world.
Wholeness - to ensure graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can participate within the academy as their whole selves. Ensuring our classrooms, laboratories, hallways, and other campus spaces encourage all aspects and intersections of our identities, communities, and cultures to flourish.
Humility – this work will inevitably include moments where we fail to move forward in the best way. We commit to being humble, learning and correcting our missteps in the spirit of striving to be better.
Candid Discussion – giving space for conflict and embracing discomfort when it accompanies open, honest, and diligent discussions in the pursuits of truth, justice, and progress that, when necessary, centre on harms enacted toward some instead of the comfort of the majority.
Relational – this includes our relations with ourselves, each other, the land, and as a collective in our pursuits of understanding the world and all that pertains within it.
Belonging – creating an institution where all voices have space and are welcomed, included, and celebrated by each other –sharing and coexisting respectfully.
Reconciliation – this work honours and centres the truth of Indigenous peoples’, graduate students’, and postdoctoral scholars’ experiences on the land and within the academy. We work to educate ourselves and others about the sacrifices of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples while honouring their worldviews and knowledge.
Continual Change – Equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts are not one-off initiatives or actions. We commit ourselves to the ongoing efforts and changes required to ensure an equitable learning and work environment for all.
1 Cree/Michif phrase that translates to ‘let us respect each other’ (see USask Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy)
Equity – taking the range of human attributes and qualities into account and providing each individual with what they need to be successful.
Diversity – the range of human differences, including diverse talents, perspectives, backgrounds, worldviews, ways of knowing, skills, and abilities.
Inclusion – the ongoing practice of embracing equity, diversity, and manācihitowin, and taking action to create a supportive and welcoming environment.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement – communicates an organization’s perspective and
understanding of systemic inequalities and challenges, their commitments to EDI, and how the organization will translate these values into their practice to address EDI.
EDI Principles – fundamental truths or propositions that serve as the foundation for a system of beliefs. Principles are intended to be guides that inform practice including internal procedures, operations, and culture.
The Making of CGPS' EDI Framework
The framework, approved by CGPS Faculty Council in May 2023 was created through campus-wide consultation, student focus groups, and staff and faculty surveys throughout 2022-23. This framework guides the mission and vision of CGPS and underpins a comprehensive and evolving plan to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity in graduate and postdoctoral studies at USask.