Blue Quills First Nations College became a University in September 2015.
Our UnBQ President Vincent Steinhauer has been a part of the staff here at Blue Quills for many years and has been the lead here at Blue Quills since July of 2012.
Since 1971, the educational facility originally called 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 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 at least 18,836 people (source – Alberta Aboriginal Relations as of January 2013).
Located approximately 200 kilometers northeast of Edmonton, Blue Quills occupies 240 acres of designated Reserve land near the town of St. Paul, Alberta.
Originally built in the early 1930’s and formerly a federally sponsored church operated residential school, the College now houses college and university programs for area residents. In 2011, Blue Quills celebrated 40 years as Canada’s first Indigenous controlled education centre. Throughout the 40 years, Blue Quills invested in building relationships and partnerships: including Maskwachees Cultural College, Athabasca University, Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan Community College, Lakeland College, Keyano College, Nechi Institute, University of Calgary, and San Diego State University.
Blue Quills is a founding member of the First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium, partnering with other Indigenous institutions and programs to advance programming and educational opportunities for adults ensuring an Indigenous learning environment and content.
In 1998, Blue Quills initiated the Leadership and Management Program which is founded on a cultural paradigm, designed to facilitate personal and organizational growth and change for all cultures of people. This program is the first degree offered by an independent Indigenous institution in this province, and is transferable to mainstream institutions in the region. The launch of this program marks a definitive transformation for the College, from being dependent on mainstream institutions and programming, to designing our own curriculum and delivery models reflecting the wholistic paradigm.
In November 2000, we were accredited by the First Nations Accreditation Board, offering the most powerful and meaningful accreditation, coming from our communities and future employers of our graduates. Through the current structures and processes mandated by the Chiefs and the First Nations, this accreditation has allowed BQFNC to retain the integrity to the protection of our Treaty rights.
The message that we believe in ourselves is an inspiration to our children and grandchildren; something we can leave to those who will come after us.
“Treaty Protection Site for Education” Motion from the Blue Quills Board of Governors
The Board of Governors of Blue Quills First Nations College are willing to serve the people and Nations of Treaty Six Territory and act as a Treaty Protection Site for Education by providing education, research, and information on the Treaty Right to Education for all Treaty Six First Nations and Canadian citizens. All in favor. Motion carried.
Blue Quills has hosted workshops on this topic and the main rational for this is:
To engage awareness about the current educational realities; to provide a forum for people to ask questions; to understand our identity as distinct Treaty & Indigenous Peoples; and to strategize about what is within our power to act. Know your inherent responsibilities to stand united for the next generations!
New Program Possibilities
We want to hear from you!! What new programs would you like to see at Blue Quills First Nations College? There are many possibilities and if there is a high demand, we will seriously look at the feasibility of having new programs here at Blue Quills. So many young people are into electronics and technology. Could there be a demand for animation, photography, digital story books, sound engineering, and I am sure some of you can think of more.
PLEASE email us your ideas or phone them in, we will certainly look at the possibilities. Phone 1-888-645-4455 extension 222.
ACCOMMODATION – Please refer to Student Housing
CAFETERIA – Our friendly Nuh Koe Diner staff provide excellent homemade meals, fast food, and delicious desserts at an affordable student price.
ELDER SUPPORT – Blue Quills has male and female Elders on staff who are available to all staff and students.
FIRE ALARM – Please follow the fire exit rules posted in your classrooms. Improper use of the fire alarm is a criminal offence and will be prosecuted.
LIBRARY – The Blue Quills library has reference materials, course texts, bursary & scholarship information, audio/visual equipment and other supporting materials. Questions relating to the library should be addressed to the Librarian. Students will be able to obtain additional resource material from other libraries through the Blue Quills library.
PARKING – Students may park in designated areas only. Any parking stall with a Reserved or named sign is designated for staff. Roadways and Emergency Access Routes must not be blocked.
PHOTOCOPYING – Students have access to a photocopy machine. There is a 10¢ fee per copy involved, please see the librarian or receptionist. Facsimile transmission is available through the receptionist for a fee.
SERVICES IN ST. PAUL – The town of St. Paul has approximately 5,600 people and many shopping, restaurant and recreation services. There are several accommodation options in St. Paul including apartments, duplexes, houses and boarding options. Rental rates are competitive. There are two shopping malls and numerous stores to meet your shopping needs.
SERVICES IN SADDLE LAKE – Saddle Lake offers a full range of medical services as well as a Women’s Wellness clinic for community members. The Eagle Healing Lodge provides a wide range of programs for community members. The Youth Center and Community Center offers a variety of programming throughout the year. Saddle Lake has an annual Stampede and Pow-wow in June of each year. As well, there are several gas and convenience stores.
FOR THE SPORTS MINDED – Do you want to stay active while you learn and study? We have new exercise equipment as well as a gym for all to enjoy. It‘s a great way to meet new friends and stay healthy! Also, St. Paul has a hockey arena, bowling alley, aquatic center, fitness center, two golf courses and numerous lakes nearby. There are a number of clubs and associations offering a variety of activities ranging from karate to cross country skiing. Surrounding First Nations communities also provide a variety of recreational facilities and activities, including hockey, soccer, swimming, and baseball.
FOR THE CULTURALLY ORIENTED – Surrounding First Nations communities provide the opportunity for participation in several ceremonies including Sun Dances, Round Dances, Sweat ceremonies and Pow-Wows. We also host an Annual Cultural Camp in the spring and host regular events and ceremonies throughout the year.
SMOKING – Blue Quills campus is a Smoke Free facility.
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES – All staff at Blue Quills are dedicated to providing student support. Help is available for career planning, personal and academic counseling, learning and study skills, admission, and financial assistance by Student Support Services. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these services.
TELEPHONE – There is a pay phone in the old building. Students are not allowed access to staff phones. Messages for students are being posted on the bulletin boards on the 1st floor in the old building and the Trades building. Please check for messages regularly. Students will only be taken out of class for a telephone call in an emergency.
TRANSPORTATION – Blue Quills does not provide transportation to and from the college. Students are responsible for their own transportation. Saddle Lake Cree Nation does provide bus service to the College. Phone Saddle Lake Education Authority for more information. Taxi services is available in St. Paul and Saddle Lake.