June 3, 2013 - 3:00am

Vancouver Island University (VIU), Cowichan Tribes and the Board of Education of School District #79 in the Cowichan Valley are partnering together to create more educational opportunities for students in the region.

All three partners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and will now begin work on building an education framework aimed at responding to the unique educational needs of the Cowichan Valley which will in turn contribute to the social, cultural and economic prosperity of the region.

“It’s a very positive development,” said Dr. Ralph Nilson, VIU’s President. “It’s another opportunity for us to build strong relationships with our community partners and to work with them to deliver an integrated learning strategy for the Cowichan Valley.”

Joe Rhodes, Superintendent of School District #79 believes the MOU has the potential to really benefit the lives of children in the region.

“As well as enhancing our existing programs, I look forward to being able to plan, develop and create new opportunities for kids in partnership with Cowichan Tribes and VIU,” said Rhodes.

As part of the agreement the partners will look at enhancing learning opportunities for First Nations.

“The impact of a good education is profound; it can be felt for many generations. I am very pleased that Cowichan Tribes will be working so closely with VIU and School District #79 to improve the lives and futures of our community members,” said Chief Harvey Alphonse, Cowichan Tribes.

The MOU also lays out a number of other ways the three parties can cooperate in order to build educational opportunities such as collaborating on research projects, sharing the knowledge of staff and faculty, and looking at ways to use facilities in the district jointly. The MOU will last for five years.

Tags: In the Community

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