Gary Carriere (Photo: Mark Ferguson)

USask pays tribute to Gary Carriere with honorary degree

This spring, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) will celebrate Gary Carriere's extraordinary contributions to his community.

At this year's USask Spring Convocation at Merlis Belsher Place from June 5-9, the university will award an honorary degree to Indigenous environmentalist Gary Carriere.

USask President and Vice-Chancellor Peter Stoicheff said the university is proud to have the opportunity to highlight and celebrate this year's esteemed group of honorary degree recipients.

"It is a privilege to be able to shine the spotlight on this group of individuals for their lifelong contributions and commitment to their communities and country," said Stoicheff. "From dedication to public health and justice, to protecting precious land and water habitats and preserving Indigenous ways of knowing, to promoting culture and the arts, the common string that ties these individuals together is a sense of service. We are proud and grateful to have this opportunity to celebrate the tremendous impact that these honorary degree recipients have had on society, and to bestow on them the university's highest honour during USask Spring Convocation."


(Honorary Doctor of Science)

Gary Carriere has devoted a lifetime to advocating for the Swampy Cree and Métis people of the Cumberland House region, sharing traditional teachings to help protect and preserve the Saskatchewan River Delta – the largest inland freshwater delta in North America.

A community leader, citizen scientist and instrumental partner with University of Saskatchewan (USask) members in research projects over the years, Carriere has generously shared his considerable traditional knowledge of the vast delta region ecosystems, providing invaluable Indigenous ways of knowing, teaching, and learning about its waters, flora and fauna. Over nearly four decades of advocacy in support of preserving and protecting the delta river system, Carriere's knowledge sharing has helped lead to scientific discoveries published in scholarly journals and presented in classrooms on campus and at scientific conferences around the world.

Working with dozens of USask researchers over the years, Carriere has demonstrated all that is possible in positive collaborations between universities and Indigenous communities. He has been a member of the USask-led Global Water Futures (GWF) Advisory Council since 2016 and is a co-investigator on the GWF project titled, We Need More Than Just Water: Assessing Sediment Limitation in the Saskatchewan River Delta. In 2022, Carriere and his family also hosted a USask field school in the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy's Master of Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern Indigenous Regions program.

In 2016, he provided a profoundly moving keynote address and discussion about reconciliation during the annual leadership forum for USask deans and other senior leaders. In 2019, Carriere also presented to more than 600 scientists at the 2019 GWF annual general meeting. His decades of working with USask researchers and evaluating the delta ecosystem, both with Indigenous knowledge and Western science, has made his contributions invaluable to researchers over the years.

Born and raised in the northern village of Cumberland House, Carriere grew up in a traditional lifestyle of trapping and fishing, and worked as a guide for fishing and hunting, as well as sharing his experiences as a Traditional Knowledge Keeper of the delta region with scientists, government officials, and other dignitaries since the 1980s. Carriere has also served as a councillor and deputy mayor in his home community, and was the founding chairperson of the Delta Stewardship Committee from 2013-2016.


Excerpt from USask article posted May 2, 2023
View original article