University of Regina continues Indigenization of campus

Posted: July 17, 2012 12:30 p.m.

Maureen Johns, executive lead, Indigenization, University of Regina.
Maureen Johns, executive lead, Indigenization, University of Regina. Photo: U of R External Relations

Maureen Johns has only been in her new role as Executive Lead, Indigenization at the University of Regina since the beginning of July, but she’s already made an interesting observation.

“What I’ve noticed, and what I’m really pleased about is that people are not asking me why Indigenization? They are asking how? So in that sense, the University of Regina is quite a bit ahead of many places that I’ve heard about, and experienced in the past,” said Johns.  “So, I think that this is something that’s really significant, and what I’m so happy about is that people are embracing the change.”

Johns has a vast array of experience contributing to education including leadership and consultation to transform school systems to reflect First Nations, Metis and Inuit content, perspectives and ways of knowing, authoring textbooks, delivering professional development training, developing student success programs, policy development, and innovations. In Saskatchewan, Johns has worked in various capacities, including principal of Scott Collegiate, consultant for Regina Public School Division, catalyst for Prairie Valley School Division, and Executive Director for the First Nations and Metis Education Branch of the provincial Ministry of Education. 

“Basically where Indigenization will lead us is out of colonization. It will lead us out of places of differences, where we’ve suffered because of the two solitudes,” said Johns. “ I believe that Indigenous peoples ways of knowing have potential to make all sorts of advances in medicine, in education, engineering, communications.”

John has been a member of the University of Regina Senate. She holds two degrees from the University of Regina: an MEd in curriculum and instruction, and a BEd in elementary education that she completed as a student at Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, now First Nations University of Canada.