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(Halifax, NS – Press Release – June 16, 2022) – The signing of an MOU between the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat(APCFNC) and Atlantic Canada’s post secondary institutions signals a renewed commitment to economic development opportunities and prosperity for Indigenous people in Atlantic Canada.

The MOU was signed at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with members of the academic
community, APCFNC, the Atlantic Indigenous Economic Development Integrated Research Program
(AIEDIRP), and representatives from the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU).

“Our Chiefs are pleased to be here once again to renew a commitment from post secondary institutions to improve the lives of Atlantic Indigenous people,” says Chief Bob Gloade, co-chair, APCFNC and Chief of
Millbrook First Nations. “We are especially pleased that colleges have now expressed interested in participating in this opportunity. We look forward to working towards strong relationships with all colleges in Atlantic Canada on research initiatives moving into the future.” “The renewal of the MOU continues a very long working relation between our organizations and the Atlantic universities and now the Nova Scotia Community College. Our continuing efforts are to build strong relations and greater opportunities for our Indigenous researchers.” noted Chief Shelley Sabattis Co-Chair APCFNC.

In addition to 15 Atlantic Canadian Universities, Nova Scotia Community College will be signing the MOU for the first time.

“The Renewal of the AIEDIRP Memorandum of Understanding marks the continuation of an important research partnership between the region’s universities and First Nations and Inuit communities and their economic development organizations,” says Dr. Rob Summerby-Murray, President and Vice-Chancellor, Saint Mary’s University and a member of the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) Executive Committee. “The MOU is also a model for ongoing communication and collaboration with Indigenous communities and it signifies the great opportunity for reconciliation and a renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in our region.”

In addition to the MOU, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has
announced that APCFNC has been granted institutional eligibility access to all programs open to Indigenous
not-for-profit organizations.

“We know education is a powerful tool in combatting inequities and lifting individuals and communities,” says John Paul, Executive Director of APC. “This renewal, paired with access to SSHRC programs will allow critical research to continue which informs and improve services and programs for Indigenous people.”
This is the third memorandum of understanding signed between the AAU and APCFNC. The landmark MOU was first signed in 2011 and renewed in 2016.

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