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Northeastern State University, United Keetowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma sign MOU

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma)—A new cornerstone for capacity building was put into place June 14 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation between Northeastern State University and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma.

“This memorandum solidifies the collaborative opportunities for both institutions. It will help to further our respective missions for developing learning opportunities and creating educational and economic success for the health and productive futures of our populations,” said UKB Chief Joe Bunch.

“Our tribe is honored to sign this MOU with the university. The alliance with NSU offers incredible resources, experiences and opportunities for both entities to forge new paths and grow together. The cooperative agreement with NSU, an outstanding regional university, represents new promise, hope and progress for enhancing and developing many of the important programs and services for the UKB going forward,” Chief Bunch said.

According to Jamie Thompson, UKB Assistant Chief, the UKB Tribal Council unanimously endorsed the dedicated relationship, honoring NSU’s standards of excellence, quality teaching, challenging curricula, research and scholarly activities—particularly its goal to provide immersive learning opportunities for their faculty and students in service to the local community.

“We envision the collaborative relationship to include capacity building areas of Elder Community Services, Sustainable Language, Kinesiology/Recreation, Indian Child Welfare, Child Development, Tribal Libraries and Technology and more. The tribe and university have also agreed to consider undertaking mutually beneficial, sanctioned research and grant-funded projects,” Thompson said.

After signing the agreement, NSU President Steve Turner cited the rich educational heritage of the Cherokee people and the university’s respect for the UKB Tribe as two key elements that led to the partnership. He also acknowledged the United Keetowah Band’s commitment to higher education and deep roots with the university and the Cherokee Nation.

“We seek collaborations such as this alliance with the UKB to advance or mission of helping all of our region to achieve professional and personal success in this multicultural and global society,” Turner said.

“NSU continues to devote faculty and student services resources toward collaborative projects with the tribe and other American Indians that encourage, inspire and support tribal members to lead healthy and productive lives and to encourage the pursuit of post-secondary education at our institution,” he said.

The memorandum will be supported by a joint committee comprised of individuals from both the university and the tribe who will provide oversight for the activities and projects included in the alliance.

Published: 6/15/2017 10:28:29 AM

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