Thompson Rivers University said it has committed to delivering Indigenous-led programming by signing memorandums of understanding with two institutions, including a university in New Zealand.
TRU, the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics and the University of Centerbury all signed an MOU July 31, saying that the agreement will allow the institutions to collaborate and build capacity for Indigenous public administration, governance, leadership and economic development.
“We are honoured to be a partner in supporting Indigenous students who will use their education to go forward and create meaningful change,” said TRU president and vice-chancellor Brett Fairbairn.
“By signing this MOU, TRU strengthens and reinforces its commitment to serving Indigenous students and the communities of the region.”
TRU also renewed an existing MOU with the Tulo Centre, who have delivered accredited certificate programs in First Nation tax administration, applied economics and land governance together since 2008.
“Our goal at the Tulo Centre is to help our students become catalysts of change within their communities by using the education they receive in our programs to support economic development and wealth creation on First Nation lands,” Tulo Centre chair Michael LeBourdais said.
“We are excited to formalize and renew our commitments to working with our partners to help break down the barriers Indigenous nations face on their paths to self-determination and economic reconciliation.”
Students from the Tulo Centre and Maori students from the Ngai Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury in Otautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, have been studying Indigenous Economics since 2020 through an informal pilot arrangement, the university said.
“This MOU takes our cooperation to a new level by formalizing our partnership across the Pacific,” said University of Canterbury vice-chancellor and professor Cheryl de la Rey, who signed the MOU on behalf of the university.
Pou Whakarea of the University of Cantebury’s Office of Treaty Partnership, professor Te Maire Tau, said the MOU will help formalize the university’s relationship with the Tulo Centre.
“We will have greater capacity to support cross delivery and accreditation of programming between and across entities which will enhance programming through joint curriculum, research and teaching,” said Tau.