Blue Quills University
University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills
|Blue Quills Education Centre, Blue Quills First Nations College|
|Type||First Nations-controlled university|
|Affiliations||ACCC, CCAA, AACTI, NAIIHL, FNAHLC|
University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills (University nn Blue Quills, formerly Blue Quills Education Centre and Blue Quills First Nations College (BQFNC)) is a First Nations owned and operated university in Canada, the first of its kind in the country. The university is jointly owned by seven First Nation band governments: Beaver Lake, Cold Lake, Frog Lake, Whitefish Lake, Heart Lake, Kehewin, and Saddle Lake.
The university is not provincially chartered, unlike all other universities in Alberta but instead incorporated by federal statute. The institution was founded as an Indian residential school in the 1930s before being occupied by a protest movement in 1970 and then transferred to indigenous control in 1971. It was declared a university on September 1, 2015.
Blue Quills is a member of the National Association of Indigenous Institutes of Higher Learning and the First Nation Adult and Higher Education Consortium, a non-profit organization in Western Canada, which coordinates the efforts of its members to provide quality adult and higher education, controlled entirely by people of the First Nations. The president of Blue Quills is Vincent Steinhauer. The university hosts an annual cultural camp in May.
The university's stated mission is to "address the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental needs of the seven member First Nations through the delivery of quality education programs. The college is dedicated to increasing and accessing educational opportunities for students by empowering them to overcome barriers that restrict success in college and university settings. The college believes the maintenance and enhancement of culture contributes to positive self-esteem and, therefore, encourages participation in the learning environment."
BQFNC was the first indigenous controlled and operated post secondary educational institution in Canada. The brick school was built in 1931 on Blue Quills First Nation Indian Reserve and operated as a Blue Quills Indian Residential School school until 1970. In July 1970 it was taken over by community members through peaceful protest and occupation. Negotiations with then Minister of Indian Affairs, Jean Chrétien, took place and agreement was signed on July 31, 1970, transferring the operations of Blue Quills to the Native Education Council. The Blue Quills First Nation College (Blue Quills Education Centre) opened in September 1971. In November 2000, the college was accredited by the First Nations Accreditation Board. In September 2015 the Blue Quills First Nation College became University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills, a named which includes both Dene and Cree language words for the school.
Scholarships and bursaries
- Shari Narine Sweetgrass (2015). "Blue Quills celebrates new status as Indigenous-controlled university". 23 (1).
- "How Stanley Redcrow and First Nations activists reclaimed the Blue Quills Residential School". CBC. May 10, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- http://www.fnahec.org/ First Nation & Adult Higher Education Consortium
- "Blue Quills First Nations College, Alberta". University of Winnipeg. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- Blue Quills First Nations College
- Blue Quills First Nations College history
- "University Blue Quills - About Us". University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills. January 31, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- Narine, Shari (2015). "Blue Quills celebrates new status as Indigenous-controlled university". Alberta Sweetgrass (23:1). Ammsa.com. Retrieved 22 April 2021.