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