Since its inception, SAGE has partnered with the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to co-host a yearly Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium (IGSS), typically held the second or third weekend in March. Simons Fraser University (SFU) joined the partnership to create an inter-institutional partnership that alternates the host duties and location of IGSS each year between UBC and SFU. With the mentorship and guidance of Indigenous Faculty and Staff members, Indigenous graduate students coordinate the conference, the call for proposals, and the final program. They take a leadership role in inviting keynote speakers and Elders to the conference and presenting their own research. The event creates another space within this academic space that values and honours students as Indigenous scholars. The IGSS provides a space for Indigenous students to critically engage in each other’s work from a place that honours the 4Rs—respect, relevance, responsibility, and reciprocity (Kirkness, V. J. and R. Barnhardt, 1991). The annual conference provides an opportunity for graduate students to network with peers across the province and with those graduate students who attend from out of province or country. The IGSS also provides a venue for students to listen to leading Indigenous scholars and academic Elders who have pioneered Indigenous education in Canada or elsewhere.
Kirkness, V., & Barnhardt, R. (1991). FIRST NATIONS AND HIGHER EDUCATION: The Four R’s — Respect, Relevance, Reciprocity, Responsibility. Journal of American Indian Education, 30(3), 1-15. Retrieved April 26, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24397980