RDC president Joel Ward holds up a signed commitment to creating more Indigenous education opportunities. Behind him are Gilles Allard, left, of the college board, Claudine Louis, president of Maskwachees Cultural College, Charlene Burns of the college board, Melvin Potts, an elder with the Montana band, and Brian Lizotte, president of Metis Local 492. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

RDC commits to enhance, expand Indigenous learning opportunities and partnerships

Ward signs Indigenous Education Protocol

Red Deer College officials have been working for years to strengthen education opportunities for First Nations, Metis and Inuit students.

On Thursday, they made it official by signing the Indigenous Education Protocol as outlined by Colleges and Institutes Canada.

“This is a very important day for Red Deer College,” said president Joel Ward, who was flanked by members of Red Deer-area First Nations and Metis communities.

He explained that RDC is reaffirming its responsibilities and obligations to Indigenous education in the spirit of truth and reconciliation.

Whereas, the college “wasn’t ready” to sign the protocol five years ago, he said an RDC framework is now in place to support and enhance learning opportunities for aboriginal students.

More tangibly, this means the college will be hiring more Indigenous instructors, technicians and administrators, and maintaining their representation on the board of governors.

The college will be expanding partnerships with First Nations and Metis elders, communities and institutions — such as Maskwacis College. And it will include more aboriginal cultural perspectives in history classes and other courses.

Ward said RDC will continue following a direction already set by its welding program. The course allows First Nations students to start learning virtual welding in their home communities. They are also offered more support after arriving at RDC to finish the program.

So far, RDC is working with all First Nations around central Alberta, including the four Maskwacis-area bands, and the Sunchild and O’Chiese bands near Rocky Mountain House, to offer accessible programs.

Ward said these include heavy equipment operation, licenced practical nursing, health care aide and business management.

The aim is to make all RDC courses relevant and meaningful to Indigenous students so that they can gain better job opportunities, said Ward.

Claudine Louis, president of Maskwachees Cultural College, said she looks forward to building a partnership with RDC that will give students from the Samson, Louis Bull, Montana and Ermineskin First Nations wider training and learning opportunities.

She hopes this partnership will allow students to start a program at Maskwacis College, near their home community, and finish the last half at RDC in Red Deer.

Louis believes the partnership will open a greater array of education options for First Nation students, as Maskwachees college only offers them four program choices now.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Suspects shot at pursuing police during crime spree

No police officers were injured in May 17 shooting

Mental health survey looks at children and youth in Red Deer

Parent and guardians experiences accessing services for children

Respect Day in Red Deer

Sexual Violence Awareness Month in Red Deer

Leasee frustrated with work stoppage order at Paradise Shores

On May 17th, the Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) issued a stop order at the site

Lacombe not happy with proposed Highway 2 rest stop location

Lacombe says rest stop should be further south

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Scholarship named in honour of young Lacombe crash victim

Scholarship given to committed Grade 12 teen mentors in the community

O Canada: Hockey hotbed now produces tennis players, too

ROME — It’s typically Canadian that Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Bianca… Continue reading

Proctor back chasing running records after cross-Canada speed attempt

CALGARY — Dave Proctors’ attempted speed record across Canada last summer was… Continue reading

Big names headed to New Mexico to film ‘The Comeback Trail’

SANTA FE, N.M. — Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones… Continue reading

Lawyer: Deal close in Weinstein sexual misconduct lawsuits

NEW YORK — A tentative deal has been reached to settle multiple… Continue reading

Seniors: The unheard melodies

The sights and sounds around us enable us to experience our world.… Continue reading

Police find urn with ashes along bank of Red Deer River

RCMP find urn with ashes along bank of Red Deer River Red… Continue reading

Most Read