Today, University of Regina President, Dr. Jeff Keshen, and First Nations University of Canada President, Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) renewing and celebrating their unique partnership.
“We exist during an incredible time of opportunity to make things right, to walk together in a good way,” said Dr. Keshen. “To have a document to guide us, created in tandem and with deep respect, is an amazing gift not only to the leadership of our two institutions, but also to the faculty, staff, students, and the many community partners we serve.”
“The principles of reconciliation that are outlined in the MOU commits our institutions to a high standard of relationship and collaborative activities, and an annual renewal event to reset and remind us of what we promised each other through the signing of this agreement,” said Dr. Ottmann. “It is a monumental day.”
The MOU reflects the U of R’s and FNUniv’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.
“The truly great thing about this MOU is that it is emphasizing the commitment between these two schools – providing them with an opportunity to say what they mean and then act on it,” says Taylor Soderberg, student research assistant with the U of R’s Office of Indigenous Engagement and recent U of R graduate. “To know that the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission truly lives on and can be found supporting the ways in which these two groups can work together in a positive light along the reconciliation journey inspires me to think about the way I live and interact with my family, friends, and my soon to be new co-workers at the Regina Public Library.”
The University of Regina has long supported the aspirations of the Indigenous people of Saskatchewan to have a post-secondary institution of their own and was instrumental in the development of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College in 1976, the precursor of today’s FNUniv, which is one of three federated colleges at the U of R.
The media release is available here.