Brandon University (BU) reaffirmed its strong commitment to Aboriginal and Indigenous culture and heritage by participating in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council and the City of Brandon.
BU is a founding partner of the BUAPC and was represented at the signing by BU President Gervan Fearon.
“Our partnership with the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council has been a fruitful one for Brandon University, where we have a strong history of Aboriginal engagement,” said Dr. Fearon, who served on the Council for two years. “Together, we have made some incredible strides. We are eager to work with the City of Brandon and our other partners on the BUAPC to continue supporting gains in Indigenous education, employment and business.”
Tom Brophy, Associate VP of Student Services and Enrollment Managment, and University Registrar, will be the new BU representative on BUAPC starting September 2016.
The new MOU builds on a six-year-long relationship between the City of Brandon and the BUAPC, which was established in December of 2010 by the Brandon City Council to establish and foster an ongoing community conversation on matters of importance to Brandon’s Urban Aboriginal community. Since then, BUAPC’s diverse membership has brought community attention to the issues of aboriginal education, housing, healthy child development, economic development, employment, collaboration, and promoting a positive profile of Aboriginal people in the Brandon community.
Now, with a signed Memorandum of Understanding in place between the two parties, solid goals have been set to develop and implement an Aboriginal Economic Strategic Plan to improve Aboriginal education, labour market participation, and the availability of business initiatives; and to establish longterm collaborative actions to address existing education and employment gaps.
“In officially signing this Memorandum of Understanding, the City of Brandon is truly galvanizing its commitment to moving forward in a significant way issues of Aboriginal education, employment, and business inclusion,” Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest noted in celebrating the MOU. “To date, BUAPC’s work has been inspiring and driven. With this MOU now in place, I and City Council anticipate even greater things from our partner in Aboriginal economic success.”
“Signing this MOU marks a significant milestone for the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council, as we commit to working collaboratively with our partners and citizens on keeping attention focused on important initiatives and supports for the Aboriginal community here in Brandon,” added Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council Aboriginal Community Coordinator Jason Gobeil. “This MOU now allows us to move forward positively, swiftly, and with official support from Brandon City Council and the City of Brandon.”
Gobeil noted that, as a number of community groups are represented within the composition of the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council, a Commitment of Participation has also been signed by all BUAPC members to ensure their commitment to continue building on its successful initiatives to date. The MOU between the two parties will remain in effect until May 31st, 2018, at which time it is anticipated it will be renewed. The finalized MOU document will be posted on the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council website (www.buapc.ca) in the coming days.
- Brandon University
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