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Dr. Oliver Brass: In Remembrance

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      APRIL 1997      v27 n01 p11  
Dr. Oliver Brass
Dr. Oliver Brass,
Photo by Roy Antal,
The Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) community has experienced a great loss with the passing on March 1, 1997 of friend and colleague Dr. Oliver J. Brass.

Dr. Brass began teaching at SIFC in the Fall of 1979 in the Department of Indian Studies. He had a Bachelor of Theology, Aldersgate College; a Bachelor of Arts Honours, University of Saskatchewan; and a Master of Arts (Psychology). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Regina in 1984. He was the first First Nations person in Saskatchewan to obtain a doctoral degree. He was a role model for many young people in his home at Peepeekisis First Nation and across Saskatchewan.

Dr. Brass advanced to the rank of Assistant Professor in 1981 and Associate Professor in 1983. He also lectured at the University of Saskatchewan from 1981 to 1986.

In 1986, Dr. Brass became President of the SIFC, a position he held until 1990. While President, he undertook a number of important initiatives for the SIFC including achieving membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Dr. Brass established the SIFC's Capital Campaign to raise money for a building on the University of Regina Campus. In 1990, he became Capital Campaign Manager.

In 1992, he returned to his position as Professor of Indian Studies. His work contributed to providing high quality educational experience to students, especially Honours and Masters students.

In his eighteen years with the College, Dr. Brass participated on numerous academic and cultural committees. He also served the wider First Nations community as National Director, Native Ministries, Methodist Church of Canada, from 1983 to 1986; as a member of the Regina Race Relations Support Committee; as a Band Councillor of the Peepeekisis First Nation; and as committee member and Chairperson of the Peepeekisis Band School Board.

The SIFC Board of Governors, Senior Management, Faculty, Staff and Students extend heart-felt sympathy to Dr. Brass's mother, brother and sisters, his wife Sheila, children, Campbell, Reona, Shiloh, Robin and Philip, and their families.

Funeral services were held March 5, 1997 at the Unser-Rist Funeral Home in Regina in the morning and at the Free Methodist Church on the Peepeekisis Reserve in the afternoon.

The Indian Studies Department is receiving donations for the establishment of a scholarship in Dr. Brass's name.