The University of Saskatchewan’s new students’ union president says he is cautiously optimistic about the institution’s plan to increase Aboriginal enrolment.

In her state of the university address earlier this month, U of S President Ilene Busch-Vishniac said one of the key priorities of the university is Aboriginal engagement, and this means increasing the numbers of First Nations and Métis students that attend the university.

Max Fineday, himself a member of the Sweetgrass First Nation, says he is all for this idea but he would like to see a concrete plan on how to get there.

“What I was looking for in her academic address was some concrete numbers – what are we doing, how are we doing it and when are we getting there,” he says. “And I think that part is still missing from the plan. But I have a hopeful sense that she understands this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously, she has stated this publicly several times, so I think as we move forward in the next year we will see a lot more concrete details coming out.”

Aboriginal enrolment at the U of S has both risen and fallen by about 10 per cent in the last few years.