CDU link with First Nations University in Canada 

Local Dakota dancer performs the Hoop Dance at the Signing Ceremony in Regina (Photo by Greg Williams)

Professor Charles Pratt signing the MoU with Adrian Walter (Photo by Greg Williams)

A recent visit to Canada by CDU staff has finalised the establishment of a formal relationship between Charles Darwin University and the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC).

The formal relationship will help to establish strong links between the two universities, particularly in the areas of Indigenous knowledge and culture.

A delegation led by the Dean of Indigenous Research and Education, Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik and the Dean of Law, Business and Arts, Adrian Walter participated in a signing ceremony on October 5 overseen by Dakota Chief Ken Goodwill.

The ceremony was preceded by an entry procession, a prayer led by Chief Goodwill, an inspiring Hoop Dance by a local performer and the presentation of gifts by Prof. Maryann Bin-Sallik.

The President of the First Nations University, Professor Charles Pratt signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Charles Darwin University, formalising the links which have been developing since a visit from delegates from FNUC in July this year.

The ceremony was completed by the further exchange of gifts between key staff from the two institutions.

First Nations University of Canada was established to provide education for First Nation people in a tertiary environment that is supportive of their culture.

The university has campuses in the three main towns of Saskatchewan: Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert on the central plains of Canada.

Collaborative work between the two institutions has already begun with the delivery of a lecture by Greg Williams at the Saskatoon Campus and an on-line, real-time lecture and discussion between Waymamba Gaykamangu and John Greatorex from the School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Darwin and staff at the Regina Campus of FNU.

The lecture on October 6 meant an early start to the day for the Darwin staff, who were on the line at 1am to Canada.

The aim is to build on this work through regular staff contact, exchanges of staff and students and collaborative research projects.

For more information on the opportunities available through the establishment of this new relationship between CDU and FNUC, contact Greg Williams on 8946 6467.