Representatives of eight Mexican universities and 11 of their Canadian counterparts have met to explore ways to improve indigenous higher education and build research partnerships.
The sixth Canada-Mexico Roundtable on Intercultural/Indigenous Higher Education took place at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario at the end of June.
Federal and state governments in Mexico have established a number of regional universities, called “intercultural universities”, specifically to increase post-secondary access for indigenous peoples, while Canadian institutions have long worked on programmes to improve access and outreach.
The round table – which was also attended by federal, provincial, municipal and indigenous representatives and students – included visits to indigenous Canadian communities.
As well as “developing strategies to foster indigenous students’ entrepreneurial skills and opportunities across borders,” said Lakehead’s president and vice-chancellor Brian Stevenson, the round table was designed to “open doors for research and other partnerships”. The results were formalised in a consortium agreement touching on access, mobility, joint research and programming of courses for indigenous communities.