People’s Free University: Learning in the Hood


Priscilla Settee, a Native Studies professor at the University of Saskatchewan, wants to bring knowledge and skills to people who can’t afford to go to university.

Most education costs money, which closes the education door for many people, says Settee.  That’s why she and other volunteers have stepped forward to open those doors.

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal experts from the community volunteer to share their knowledge on subjects as diverse as:

  • Camera with a Cause- Marcel Petit/Cori Cardinal
  • Art for Social Change- Adrian Stimson
  • Poetry and the Spoken Word- Zoey Roy
  • Anti- Racist Education and Alliance Building- Sheelah McLean/Marlene McKay
  • Sustainable Development- Mark Bigland
  • Art, Zines & Social transformation, The Kimiwan Model- Joi Arcand
  • Yoga- Jean Short
  • Two Spirit Issues- Alex Wilson/ Randall Fiddler
  • Indigenous Literature, Literacy- Nancy Van Styvendale
  • Economics & Community Economic Development for the People- Transforming Communities- the Station 20 Model-Len Usiskin

The sessions take place on Thursday nights at Station 20 West in Saskatoon’s core neighborhood.

“We want to share the knowledge that exists from our professors and people who want to share it,” Settee said.

Melody Wood attended 10-week session. She says she enjoyed the program because of its “no fuss” atmosphere. There were no marks, and no one minded if you missed a class.

“The variety of topics and flexibility to pick and choose what appealed to your interests was the best part,” Wood said.  “Education is important and it should never stop! It’s a lifelong thing.”
Melody Wood, PFN

Settee says the PFU is for anyone but is geared to the needs of those who live in the inner city.

While Settee doesn’t have plans to offer PFU in other Saskatchewan communities, she is willing to help professionals and educators start this initiative in their own communities.

To pre-register call 306-966-1313


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