Blue Quills is a locally controlled Indigenous education centre that provides academic programs and training while promoting a pride in Indigenous heritage and reclaiming traditional knowledge and practices.
In the MOU, the universities agree to pursue and expand a reciprocal relationship that will result in collaborative programs, in areas such as language and Iyiniw studies, that will serve students of both institutions. The agreement is part of MacEwan’s commitment to fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action by supporting the success, rights, culture and representation of Indigenous students, staff and faculty.
“This MOU formalizes what has already been a meaningful and fruitful partnership.” —John McGrath
"Over the past year, we have collaborated with Blue Quills on initiatives like our Spirit Bear Dialogues program and an Indigenous Research Symposium,” says John McGrath, acting president of MacEwan University. “This MOU formalizes what has already been a meaningful and fruitful partnership, and we look forward to continuing to work together for the benefit of our students and community."
Following a pipe ceremony at the Blue Quills campus near St. Paul on October 7, John signed the MOU alongside Blue Quills President Sherri Chisan. Signing the agreement in this way is significant, says Terri Suntjens, kâ-nêkânêstahk iyiniw pamihtamowina (director of Indigenous initiatives) at MacEwan, who was also present. “This ceremony guides our work as post-secondary institutions coming together to partner and create opportunities for our students. We have much to learn from UnBQ about Indigenous education and this reciprocal relationship is a step in a meaningful direction that will benefit our future generations.”
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.