A long-standing relationship between the University of Lethbridge (U of L) and Red Crow Community College (RCCC) has been strengthened through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at increasing collaboration between the two institutions.
U of L President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mike Mahon, and RCCC President, Roy Weasel Fat, signed the document at Red Crow Community College on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
The wide-ranging MOU includes a commitment to seek joint opportunities to collaborate on opportunities pertaining to academic and research initiatives, the sharing of facilities and student supports, such as housing.
Mahon says the agreement celebrates the successful collaborations of the past and reaffirms the importance of the partnership in the future.
“The University of Lethbridge is very proud to enter into this agreement with Red Crow Community College – a long-standing partner of our institution,” says Mahon. “By working more closely together, we can strengthen our mutual commitments to Blackfoot and other First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.”
Weasel Fat says past collaborative programs have been extremely beneficial to Blackfoot students and provide a strong foundation for future collaboration.
"These programs have allowed our students to come back to strengthen this community and other communities,” says Weasel Fat. “We want to continue to deepen our collaboration, not only because it enhances self determination for our students, but also because it provides an important opportunity for cross cultural education for everyone involved. All participants benefit from the sharing of Blackfoot knowledge and the validation of this by our Elders."
The agreement includes a number of areas that the institutions will explore through the MOU. It includes articulation across academic programs; student housing and support programs; joint program development and/or delivery; sharing expertise and/or facilities; joint project development and/or delivery; and, together with Lethbridge College, encourages joint partnership within the Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta (RINSA).
“It is essential that Aboriginal people are able to take advantage of present and future opportunities in the province, and the best way to do that is through education,” says Minister Oberle. “Our government places tremendous value on cooperation throughout our post-secondary system, and we welcome this agreement.”
A commitment to Blackfoot and other First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities has been a strong part of the history of the University of Lethbridge and is articulated in the 2014 – 2019 Strategic Plan. The University is proud to have been recognized by Blackfoot Elders with a Blackfoot name and special honour song.