Canadian College Joins Consortium

Feb 15th, 1992 | By | Category: 3-4: Indians Teaching America, Tribal College News
By Jennifer Gray Reddish

Red Crow College has become the newest addition to the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. Located in the rural Blood Reserve in Alberta, Canada, Red Crow opened its doors in September 1986.

Unlike older tribal colleges in the United States, Red Crow College does not yet offer two-year or four-year degrees. Instead, it provides a range of certificate programs and prepares stu­dents for continued study at non-Indian institutions. However, like all tribal col­leges, limited funding makes the col­lege’s work difficult.

According to President Maria Marule, Red Crow College is supported through a small grant from the Indian Studies Support Program in Canada. This money is designated towards the aca­demic program, rather than to infras­tructure and maintenance of the cam­pus. Due to this sparse and restricted funding, the school remains what Marule called “a brokerage house for the larger state institutions. We can only help prepare our students for university study. We are not accredited to award diplomas.”

Still, the college has an important place in its community. Red Crow serves mostly non-traditional students. Sixty to seventy percent are women and most come from the reserve, which has a total population of 7,000.

All together, the college is able to serve about 200 people through its vari­ous programs. Fifty-five people alone par­ticipate in the college preparatory pro­gram. Others take courses to up-grade their knowledge in their present careers or participate in programs to learn basic job skills. Red Crow College also offers various certificate programs, such as early childhood education. In addition, exten­sion courses are taught at Red Crow by neighboring public institutions.

Red Crow College hopes that mem­bership in the American Indian Higher Education Consortium will strengthen their effort to make the Canadian govern­ment more responsive to the higher edu­cation needs of Canadian Indians. According to Marule, the Canadian gov­ernment still views Indian post-secondary education as a privilege, rather than a guaranteed treaty right.

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