Thompson Rivers University

Tulo Centre, University of Canterbury and TRU sign MOUs to collaborate on innovative Indigenous-led programming and research

August 1, 2023

Pictured left to right: TRU Provost and Vice-President Academic Dr. Gillian Balfour, Tulo Centre Chair Chief Michael LeBourdais, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury Professor Cheryl de la Rey and Pou Whakarae of the University of Canterbury’s Office of Treaty Partnership Professor Te Maire Tau.

TK̓EMLÚPS TE SECWÉPEMC (KAMLOOPS, BC) – The Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics (Tulo Centre), the University of Canterbury and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) commit to further collaboration and exploration of opportunities to deliver unique Indigenous-led programming through the signing of two memorandums of understanding in Kamloops on July 31, 2023.

The MOU signed by all parties creates a formal pathway for the institutions to cooperate and collaborate to research, support and build capacity for Indigenous public administration, governance, leadership and economic development.

The Tulo Centre and TRU renewed their existing MOU to strengthen the relationship between the two institutions who have worked together since 2008 to deliver accredited certificate programs in First Nation tax administration, applied economics and lands governance.

“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.”

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury (UC), Professor Cheryl de la Rey, signed the MOU on behalf of her university at the event.

“We are proud to support and help build Indigenous self-governance and economic development locally and globally through higher education. This MOU takes our cooperation to a new level by formalizing our partnership across the Pacific,” she said. “We share the vital commitment to teamwork, cooperation and partnership and look forward to continuing our journey of learning together.”

“We are honoured to be a partner in supporting Indigenous students who will use their education to go forward and create meaningful change. By signing this MOU, TRU strengthens and reinforces its commitment to serving Indigenous students and the communities of the region,” said TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Brett Fairbairn.

Students from the Tulo Centre and Māori students from the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury, Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, have been studying Indigenous Economics together since 2020 in what began as an informal pilot arrangement.

“The signing of the MOU signals an important step for Ngāi Tahu and formalizes the current strong relationship that we have with the Tulo Centre. The opportunity to share resources and expertise with international partners on a more formal footing signals the strength that we can deliver through a formal partnership approach,” Pou Whakarae of the University of Canterbury’s Office of Treaty Partnership, Professor Te Maire Tau said. “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.”

Juli Holloway, Communications Advisor
Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics | 250.819.2776

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor | Kaitakawaenga Matua Pāpāho
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | +64 3 369 3631 (Ext 93631)

Dr. Michael Henry, Dean of the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics
Thompson Rivers University | 250-852-6290

About the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics

The Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics is an Indigenous-led organization that provides training and research designed to advance economic reconciliation and support wealth creation in First Nation communities across the country through the implementation of jurisdiction to build sustainable, resilient local economies.

About the University of Canterbury’s Office of Treaty Partnership and the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre

The Office of Treaty Partnership (OTP) is a part of the University of Canterbury, providing strategic direction and guidance to the university on behalf of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Tahu. OTP develops and nurtures strategic partnerships (both regionally and internationally) in the interest of reciprocal relationships that support intellectual capital building and tribal development. The University of Canterbury is an educational institution incorporated under the University of Canterbury Act 1961 with offices situated in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Ngāi Tahu Research Centre (NTRC) is a joint initiative between Ngāi Tahu and the University of Canterbury established to lead Indigenous scholarship and to provide a centre for the intellectual capital and development of Ngāi Tahu, the principal Māori iwi of the southern region of New Zealand.

About Thompson Rivers University

Thompson Rivers University offers open admission to 140 programs, with everything from trades and technical courses to undergraduate degrees and master’s programs. TRU is also home to Open Learning, which gives students a choice of 60 online programs they can study wherever they live.

TRU’s Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics aspires to connect the British Columbia Interior to the world through experiential education and high-quality research. The school offers the most flexible MBA program in Canada and two unique environment and economics management master’s degrees that address sustainability challenges and opportunities. TRU Gaglardi is committed to expanding educational opportunities for Indigenous students.

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