Strengthening community connections in Nipawin

By Dale Johnson Posted: September 16, 2015 9:30 a.m.

University of Regina President Vianne Timmons (centre) signs a Memorandum of Understanding with and His Worship David Trann, Mayor of Nipawin (left) and the President and CEO of Cumberland College, Dr. Tom Weegar (right).
University of Regina President Vianne Timmons (centre) signs a Memorandum of Understanding with and His Worship David Trann, Mayor of Nipawin (left) and the President and CEO of Cumberland College, Dr. Tom Weegar (right). Photo courtesy of Cumberland College.

The University of Regina and Cumberland College will be working even more closely together, in order to offer more opportunities for education and research in the Nipawin area, about 360 kilometres north of Regina.

University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the President and CEO of Cumberland College, Dr. Tom Weegar, and His Worship David Trann, Mayor of Nipawin.

“This agreement means that together, we will expand the post-secondary education and research opportunities for the people of Nipawin and the surrounding region,” said President Timmons. “This is in line with our strategic plan’s objectives of student success, research that has impact and commitment to our communities,” she added.

The agreement provides opportunities for more co-op student placements in Nipawin, a community of 4,300 people. There may also be applied research in such areas as Aboriginal health and community development, northern horticulture, shale oil clean energy, and in businesses.

“We have an incredibly positive relationship of working with the University of Regina,” said Dr. Weegar.  “This Memorandum of Understanding will allow us to build upon this relationship and together allow us to better serve our communities.”

As well, President Timmons will travel to Nipawin each year, to meet with the President of Cumberland College, the Mayor of Nipawin, and other officials from the College and the community.

“Nipawin is regional centre for trade, health care and education serving approximately 35,000 people who live in the smaller surrounding smaller communities, farms and First Nations communities. To have a College that can deliver University courses in Nipawin helps to sustain and grow our population and regional economy by providing affordable opportunities study and work at home, which has proven to lead to greater success to develop our own skilled professional workforce,” added the Mayor of Nipawin.

This MOU builds on a strong relationship the University of Regina has with Nipawin and Cumberland College. The College offers a number of undergraduate U of R courses, including a Bachelor of Education program. There are currently 32 students in this program, including eight from local First Nations. As well, U of R classes in arts, science, social work, and professional certificates, are offered through Cumberland College in Nipawin.