At a gathering at Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus, both staff from RRC and Urban Circle Training Centre Inc. came together to kick off a uniquely renewed partnership that will strengthen ties between the two organizations to maximize opportunities for Indigenous students.
“This partnership has a very rich history. Urban Circle has been working hard to revitalize our community and ensure that there are opportunities for Indigenous learners,” said Rebecca Chartrand, RRC Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy. “I have family members who have benefited directly from some of the programs Urban Circle offers. They are really helping to restore dignity and create the space for people who need it the most.”
“This is a very important, historical pilot project that we are venturing into,” says Haven Stumpf, Urban Circle Executive Director. “We’ve been in partnership since 1996, and with the forming of our new partnership, RRC has truly stepped up to fill these obligations of closing these gaps with full participation and full consent from Urban Circle Training Centre.”
“We are so excited to build these new relationships and to be able to share our experiences and knowledge with one another. This will strengthen all of us to work together and to reach the goals of increasing indigenous participation in post-secondary education as well as increasing indigenous achievement and success in our community.”
The partnership will build upon the successes and expertise of both educational facilities to enhance Indigenous graduation rates through collaborative community-based programming and the unique approach of Urban Circles’ holistic delivery methods.
Jaime Richard, who has been working with the community through her work at RRC for nearly 14 years, has stepped into a newly created position – Manager, External Indigenous Relations and Partnerships – to streamline existing aspects of the relationship and strengthen plans for the future.
“The fact that this new, historic position exists, and the fact that the college is committing in this way to this long-standing relationship, is huge. I have had a relationship with Urban Circle prior to starting in this role and I just love the fact that I get to facilitate that relationship and help bring our two organizations closer together,” says Richard. “I want to help promote the successes of our students, which ultimately brings those successes to our communities and those students becoming role models. I’m just so delighted to be involved in a part of that.”
“Jaime brings much wisdom, support, understanding and passion for working with our indigenous students, staff and community and also representing Red River College,” continues Stumpf. “She is truly one who works with her heart to get that job done, and Red River College is very fortunate to have someone like her. She is truly an asset.”
The revitalized and enhanced partnership is in line with RRC’s strategic goal to Advance Indigenous Achievement as well as the College’s commitment as one of nine post-secondary signatories of the Manitoba Education Blueprint, a response to the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Report.
To learn more about Urban Circle Training Centre programs, visit urbancircletraining.com