November 27th, 2020

Reserve college project seems ill-advised

By Letter to the Editor on October 29, 2020.

Our federal government has found a home for $20 million in southern Alberta to show their commitment to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and support Indigenous-led cultural education, this being monies to help build Red Crow Community College in Standoff on the Blood Reserve.

Construction of the new Red Crow Community College will offer a high-quality, culturally infused, Blackfoot language-based learning environment for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, said Prasad Panda, our provincial minister of infrastructure.

With the risk of being called racist, here are some reasons I feel this venture is ill-advised:

1. Competition with local established colleges for the student base;

2. Competition for qualified instructors;

3. Small local (Standoff) student base market;

4. Courses in agriculture, wind and solar, etc. are well established in Lethbridge – why ride a bus 30 kilometres to be taught in the dead of winter;

5. Residences and funding are already available to Indigenous students at all the established colleges in Alberta.

I see this as a short-term “make-work” project – benefiting off-reserve construction firms who will hire a few local workers. I feel this college project has little chance of success unless married to a current Alberta institute of learning – if not, you will see the building “repurposed” within five years of opening.

Grant R. Harrington

Businessman and concerned citizen


Share this story:

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Red Crow College has been in existence since 1986. It partners with Bow Valley College and the universities of Lethbridge and Calgary. In partnership with the University of Lethbridge, Red Crow College offers a Masters Degree in Education. A Masters Degree in Social Work is offered at Red Crow College in partnership with the University of Calgary. Moreover, the Sinte Gleska University in Mission South Dakota on the Rosebud Indian Reservation has partnered with the Red Crow College as has the Old Sun Community College of the Siksika Nation to offer a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in early childhood special education.
Therefore, the Red Crow College can hardly be described as “a short-term make-work project”.

Here’s another lovely ill constructed post from Mr. Harrington, why is it his posts target Indigenous? Am I seeing a trend here? Does he not have anything better to do? This guy is not a very smart person as his business information, home phone and address are all publicly listed. I took the liberty of contacting the The Recycling Council of Alberta whom he’s affiliated so they are aware.


So you really have nothing to debate Mr. Harrington’s letter. So you resort to gaslighting him. Heaven forbid someone have a different opinion or viewpoint from you the all knowing. Who knows if he is wrong or right, he is entitled to his opinion on all matters. PS: he is a very smart business person and over the years has employed many.


Mr. Harrington shows an appalling lack of understanding of the workings of Red Crow Community College here, and no understanding whatsoever of reconciliation. Mr. Harrington’s suggestion that Indigenous students’ needs might be met at any of “the established colleges” in Alberta both neglects the College’s long an important history and ignores the white supremacy that undergirds many of these institutional spaces – the fact that they are hostile institutions for many Indigenous peoples. To suggest, in 2020, that financial support for culturally relevant educational opportunities for Indigenous peoples on lands claimed by Canada is “ill-advised” is, yes, racist.

Vernon CM

Red Crow Community College has been in our community for 36 years and has been a HUGE stepping stone for many students to get a better education…I for one am proud to say I once attended Red Crow College in which it helped me get into College and University. For this so called business analyst to say this building will be used for something else in 5 bogus and ill-advised! This is just an example of “White Privilege” and “Systemic Racism” in Lethbridge, commenting on something he is unaware of and to cause a stir because as he feels the $20 million dollars would be a better investment in Lethbridge.

This guy is oblivious to the education needs of the Blood Tribe and to the history & track record of Red Crow College in our community. Systemic racism has led to education disparities for our people and that’s why Red Crow Community College was established by the late Marie Marule-Small Face, Phillip Mistaken Chief, and the many other Elders who have left before us, who helped many of us to get a proper education and to be a success in our community.

Red Crow College has played a valuable asset in the Blood Reserve community and will continue to foster educational dreams in many generations to come! This college helped many of our people become teachers, lawyers, nurses, and even doctors. If this guy did the research before he wrote this editorial, he would find out that there are many hurdles in the way for First Nations people to get a post secondary education. There is, 1) “Transportation” hurdles, 2) Lack of Education, 3) Not meeting the “Requirements” to attend College/University off-reseve, and/or 4) not having the “Finances” to attend Off-Reserve Institutions. With Red Crow College in our community, it offers that huge stepping stone for many of us to get a “Education” as well as a “Higher Education” off-reserve. Red Crow Community College has thrived in our community and will continue to make successes out of our people in years to come…and that’s a guarantee my friend!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x