Nfld. & Labrador

Qalipu, CNA sign new education agreement

The Qalipu First Nation and the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) signed a five-year memorandum of understanding on Monday designed to help more Indigenous people succeed in getting a post-secondary education.

5-year deal will explore ways to help more Indigenous students enter post-secondary

Qalipu First Nation Chief Brendan Mitchell (standing) signed the agreement alongside Bruce Hollett (center), president and CEO of the College of the North Atlantic.

The Qalipu First Nation and the College of the North Atlantic strengthened ties on Monday by signing a new memorandum of understanding.

Qalipu First Nation Chief Brendan Mitchell was joined by Bruce Hollett, president and CEO of the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in Corner Brook to sign the agreement. They said their goal is to develop an action plan that will see more young people finish high school, and pursue post-secondary education.

Mitchell said they've already helped thousands of Qalipu members attend CNA, and hopes this new partnership will open doors for future students.

"Our idea is to get as many people as we can interested in post-secondary. We want them to go on to be tradespeople," said Mitchell.

"This is how we'd like to do it — we start with developing programs together with CNA, we expand on those programs, and yes, if that expansion means additional funding at some point, we'll be trying to get such funding to make sure no one's left behind."

Education foundational to sustainable economy

The newly-signed agreement also stated that both parties will investigate signing the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan) National Indigenous Education Protocol.

"We believe that post-secondary education and training is the foundation for a sustainable economy," said Bruce Hollett, the college's president and CEO.

"This is the type of thing the college wants to make sure we do a lot of. In order to really reach people, you need to connect with groups and community leaders, and that's how we make a difference in people's lives."

Both organizations are hoping to meet in the coming weeks to come up with an action plan.