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RRC and U of W launch new Indigenous Studies degree for staff

September 26, 2014

Indigenous Studies 2014A group of Red River College employees are taking back-to-school season quite literally this year — having returned to the classroom to take part in a new degree program for staff.

The College recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with the University of Winnipeg, to offer RRC employees a Bachelor of Arts degree in Indigenous Studies.

The program is being delivered through a part-time cohort model over six years, making it perfect for employees seeking a meaningful degree with a flexible delivery schedule. Content was developed and is currently being delivered by Dr. Julie Pelletier, Chair of Indigenous Studies at UWinnipeg.

“If it weren’t for flexible scheduling during my own studies, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue higher education,” says Pelletier. “UWinnipeg and the Department of Indigenous Studies so value our relationship with RRC, and this approach gives us another opportunity to work together.”

The degree will provide students with a holistic background in the field of Indigenous Studies, with a particular focus on Canadian contexts, as examined through multi-disciplinary coursework.

“We can all benefit from exploring indigenous ways of knowing,” says April Krahn, Director of Aboriginal Student Support & Community Relations at RRC. “As members of the RRC community, our enhanced knowledge and cultural competence informs how we view ourselves and others. In our work, it impacts how we develop and deliver services, programs and educational instruction, and how we form and maintain our working relationships with colleagues and with students.”

The program’s first cohort comprises 25 students — 22 from RRC and three from the community. Of those, 13 are self-declared Aboriginal students.

“This is an important number to celebrate, as we collectively search for new initiatives by which to increase Aboriginal advancement through education and inclusion,” says Krahn.