Gloria Mehlmann poses confidently in a chair in her Vancouver Island home.
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Author, library and community champion receives Honorary Degree

15 June 2023
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The University of Regina confers an Honorary Doctor of Letters honoris causa (DLitt) to Gloria Mehlmann in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the humanities and literature at Spring Convocation on June 15.

Mehlmann taught at four schools in the Regina Public Schools system from 1962 to 1983, and was later seconded to serve as the director of Research and Development with the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, now First Nations University of Canada.

I’m not sure what I will say to the graduates at the ceremony, but it will be about my love of learning, and it will be from my heart. —Gloria Mehlmann

As the director of Aboriginal Education for the provincial Department of Education from 1994 to 2004, she oversaw the integration of Indigenous perspectives and content into the Saskatchewan K-12 curriculum.

She also served as a member and chair of the Regina Public Library board and was the provincial library trustees association representative to the University of Regina Senate.

Her 2008 book, Gifted to Learn, is a memoir of her teaching career that was published in 2008, because, “every day provided a treasure trove of learning opportunities.” She then turned to creative writing, publishing a collection of stories titled Adam’s Tree, which is based on growing up on Cowessess First Nation and seeing the firsthand impacts of Canada’s Indian Act policies and residential schooling.

The ceremonies begin each day at 2 p.m. in the Main Gym in the Centre for Kinesiology, Health and Sports on the University’s main campus. A live stream of each day’s ceremony will be available on the University’s Facebook page, and a recording also posted, so students, family, and friends unable to attend in person, can view the celebration online. 

In 2005, Mehlmann received the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in recognition of her contributions to education, libraries, and community development. She describes the award as an incredible honour, as is receiving an honorary degree.

“I’m not sure what I will say to the graduates at the ceremony, but it will be about my love of learning, and it will be from my heart.”

“For her significant contributions to Saskatchewan’s education system, as well as for her accomplishments as an author, the University of Regina is proud to award Gloria an Honorary Doctor of Letters,” says President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen. “It’s so fitting to award her this distinction because of her life-long appreciation of education,” he adds.

About the University of Regina

Set in the heart of the Canadian prairies we are a comprehensive, mid-sized university where the opportunities are as limitless as the horizon. Our campuses are on Treaty 4 and 6 - the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda peoples, and the homeland of the Michif/Métis nation. It is our responsibility to strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities to build a more inclusive future for all. Our three federated colleges, 10 faculties, 25 academic departments, and 18 research centres foster innovative research with practical and theoretical applications. We are committed to cultivating the potential of our 16,000 students and supporting their health and well-being. We take learning beyond the classroom through work and volunteer experiences to develop career-ready graduates.

Let’s go far, together.