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.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer Salvation Army providing assistance to seniors, families through Adopt-A-Family program

The Salvation Army in Red Deer will assist seniors and families through… Continue reading

Innisfail man facing charges after short standoff with police

Man arrested after RCMP spot sotlen van in Innisfail

Odour-reduction methods are left up to the cannabis company, says Health Canada

Several technologies are available: federal regulator

Tax hike upsets pot growers

Tax changes could hurt a thriving industry: canola producers

Central Alberta experiencing a growing cockroach problem

Travellers unwittingly bringing back pests from their trips

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Your community calendar

Wednesday Pain 101 class — learn to take control of your chronic… Continue reading

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to fire Don Cherry?

Do you agree with the decision to fire Don Cherry for his… Continue reading

Opinion: WHL can’t avoid fallout of Don Cherry firing

The fallout from Don Cherry’s firing at Hockey Night in Canada has… Continue reading

CTV, Jessica Allen apologize for her hockey remarks after Don Cherry’s firing

TORONTO — CTV says it is apologizing to anyone who was offended… Continue reading

High tides surge through Venice, locals rush to protect art

VENICE, Italy — Exceptionally high tidal waters surged through Venice again on… Continue reading

CFL stadium group submits revised plan to Halifax Regional Council

HALIFAX — The business group that wants to build a 24,000-seat stadium… Continue reading

CREA: national home sales up 12.9 per cent in October compared with last year

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of home… Continue reading

Cannabis producer Green Organic Dutchman shares fall after it reports $20.1M loss

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. shares fell sharply… Continue reading

Most Read