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MOU signed between First Nations U. of Canada, U of R

University of Regina President and First Nations University of Canada President signed renewal of Memorandum of Understanding.

REGINA - Tuesday marked the official renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Regina and the First Nations University of Canada. 

University of Regina President Dr. Jeff Keshen and First Nations University of Canada President, Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann signed the MOU inside the atrium of the FNUC.

It is a document which guides the relationship between the two universities. According to their news release, the document reflects the U of Regina and the First Nations University’s “ongoing commitment to reconciliation and provides mechanisms for the two institutions to enhance communication, strengthen collaboration, and build on Indigenous ways of knowing over the next five years.”

There had been a binding agreement in place before. The University of Regina had been supportive of the founding of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College in 1976, which later became the First Nations University of Canada.

The process behind this latest MOU had begun back in 2019, two years before Ottmann took over at the FNUC.

According to Ottmann, for the universities it was “important to recognize the evolution of our relationship.” It was noted the principles of reconciliation were outlined within the MOU document. 

“The document speaks to meaningful and quality relationships, collaborative relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Reconciliation is equal responsibility for all people,” said Ottmann in speaking to reporters. She also pointed to their move towards academic autonomy, and that the University of Regina “recognizes our evolution as an Indigenous university.”

“It’s the building block and… a commitment to come back each year,” said Keshen of the document. “It’s less the paper as opposed to what we do as actions from that agreement.”

He also noted they were in the final stages of an Indigenous Engagement Strategic Plan which has about 38 action items, from curriculum through hiring to aesthetics. “I think that’s a real test as well about what we do as an institution in partnership with FNUC to really walk the walk if I could say it that way.”