The University is honoured to be gifted with a Buffalo Winter Count Robe

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: April 7, 2022 3:00 p.m.

L to R: President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen, artist and knowledge keeper Wayne Goodwill, His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, S.O.M., M.S.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, and Her Honour Ms. Donna Mirasty
L to R: President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen, artist and knowledge keeper Wayne Goodwill, His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, S.O.M., M.S.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, and Her Honour Ms. Donna Mirasty University Advancement and Communications

The Office of Indigenous Engagement held a special ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the gift of a traditional Buffalo Winter Count Robe to the University of Regina. The robe was painted by knowledge keeper Wayne Goodwill from Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation, one of the last known robe painters in the province.

The robe tells the story of the Indigenous experience from precolonial days to the present. It will be used as a teaching tool to support the University and surrounding community on the path of truth and reconciliation. 

 “This Buffalo Winter Count Robe symbolizes what happened in the past 200 years to the First Nations people on the plains,” said Goodwill.

At the event, President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen shared with attendees that the University is truly honoured to welcome through ceremony this Buffalo Winter Count Robe.

As these painted robes have traditionally been used to record historic events and keep alive stories of long ago, the robe will play an integral role in the University’s efforts to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

“The stories embedded in this robe help expose the truth of Canada’s colonial past and the impact on the original inhabitants of this land,” said Lori Campbell, Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement). “These stories are also a celebration of the remarkable strength and perseverance of those who have gone before us, those who are walking with us, and those who will lead the way in the future.”

The commitment to truth and reconciliation is one of five areas of focus identified in the University‘s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, All Our Relations. The plan states reconciliation will occur through teaching, research, learning, and service efforts across our campuses, and throughout the province.