Blue Quills First Nations College
Since 1971, Blue Quills First Nations College (BQFNC) has been a locally controlled Indigenous education centre serving the academic and training needs of people of all cultures, encouraging everyone to experience studying in a unique socio-cultural and academic environment. As an Indigenous non-profit educational institution, a prime objective is to promote a sense of pride in Indigenous heritage and reclaim traditional knowledge and practices.
Blue Quills is located 3 miles west of St Paul on Highway 28 and 1/2 mile north of the airport (on Range Road 101), There is a large sign on the highway at the turnoff. Blue Quills is governed by seven appointed Board members, each representing one of the seven local First Nations communities: Beaver Lake, Cold Lake, Frog Lake, Whitefish Lake, Heart Lake, Kehewin, and Saddle Lake, plus one Elder from the Saddle Lake First Nation. These communities represent almost 17,500 people.
Our first priority is service to the student and the community, with locally developed certificate and diploma programs we are confident that we offer more unique learning opportunities. The content of courses is framed by traditional knowledge and relevance to contemporary community experience and expectations. Students are offered the active and personal support of coordinators, instructors, counsellors, and Elders to assist in dealing with the diversity of challenges they face in addition to the academic workload.
A process oriented, experiential classroom allows students to draw on prior knowledge and personalize the learning. We are confident that our wholistic approach to honouring and addressing the needs of the whole person (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) ensures that students receiving a more balanced educational experience at Blue Quills than they would at other institutions. The cohort approach to programming ensures that students learn from the social experience as well as the intellectual/ academic, building on strengths in themselves and their communities.
Programs are student centred, with cooperative and collaborative learning models that challenge those who have studied exclusively in the conventional competitive western model. We are also challenging the conventional institutional approach of exclusivity, and entering into partnerships where our knowledge will be respected and honoured. For example, details of a block transfer for the Blue Quills Leadership & Management program into a Bachelor of Administration are being finalized with Athabasca University.