The Support and Wellness Services at Blue Quills First Nations College are an essential component of the support system available to students and staff. Students can often find themselves subjected to high levels of stress as a result of trying to balance their roles as students, family members and caregivers. Blue Quills offers a wide range of support including traditional/culturally based resources. Students are encouraged to utilize these support services.
Message from Student Council
Welcome new and returning students to another exciting year at Blue Quills First Nations College. We would like take this opportunity to invite you to sharpen your skills in communications, leadership, and management by joining our weekly student council meetings. Each week we gather to work collectively as each member engages with the role of being a leader and supporter. If you would like a challenge to push yourself to new limits then commit to become an agent of positive change within the safe environment of the Blue Quills campus. Some initiatives include:
Enhance student voice and advocacy;
Enhance the quality of education and student services;
Create social activities and events;
Increase wellbeing: physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally;
Promote our students and campus successes.
In addition to working within the Blue Quills Student council, we believe that the student experience involves more than just the classroom. We encourage students to volunteer around the campus and local communities to make a difference as well as to develop the strength and special abilities needed to find employment after graduation. The success of all our programs will only be possible with your collaboration and involvement. In this way, we will be able to make great movement towards positive change for all students. We welcome every student to visit, relax, get active and enjoy the beauty of learning and giving.
Have a great year!
Blue Quills First Nations Library, located in the north wing of the college, contains over 10,000 catalogued books and numerous reference books, journals, periodicals, vertical file, videos and magazines. All catalogued books are maintained in a database system and students have access to printed subject/author/title indexes. Students can borrow books from the library for a two-week period.
Blue Quills is in the process of creating a historical archival centre which is located in the library. This data collection will take years of continued work as most information is being converted to digital form for all to enjoy. We invite anyone who has information on Blue Quills to please share their information such as written documents, yearbooks, pictures, news articles etc., if at least, to allow us to document the original information for digital conversion.
Student/instructors have access to videos, which they can watch at their convenience.
Library services also include laminating, photocopying, scanning, testing for skills appraisals for university programs and University/College Entrance Preparation program. There is a whole section of native studies books and native children story books. The library is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
Additional learning resources have been updated to facilitate the learning experience. For instance, students have access to the Internet and wifi to assist them academically. Students who are registered with Athabasca University, the University of Alberta and University of Calgary also have access to inter-library loans, e-books, e-journals etc. We offer a seminar to students to increase their skills to do on-line research.
Blue Quills is also a recipient member of the provincial initiative to
Blue Quills honours and values our Elders. Elders are integrated into many of our programs to ensure the cultural and language integrity. There are two Elders on staff, available to provide guidance and support to our students. Early in a student‘s first term he or she is introduced to the Elder to learn about cultural protocols and options available to them. Students are invited to experience (or if they choose to not participate, then to observe and respect) smudging which is a cleansing ceremony used to ground and prepare individuals or items for purposeful action. Smudging is an activity which is voluntarily conducted by individuals or groups. Many staff and instructors incorporated smudging into meetings and class processes.
Blue Quills does provide sweatlodge ceremonies when requested. If students are not sure what is involved, they are encouraged to approach one of the Elders or instructors. Anyone who wants a sweatlodge ceremony for special reasons should approach one of the Elders to make arrangements.
Cultural resources are available in the Language Resource Center and the Library. Blue Quills is governed and owned by the seven surrounding First Nations that can also be accessed in the areas of cultural arts, historical artifacts, traditional wisdom and Cultural and Cree language mentors.
Student Support Services
The Student Support Services at UnBQ are an essential component of the support system available to students and staff. Students often find themselves subjected to high levels of stress as a result of trying to balance their roles as students, family members and caregivers. Blue Quills offers a wide range of support including traditional and culturally based resources.
Academic counseling is available and every effort is made to help the student succeed academically. Writing and academic workshops are available through-out the year so please keep in touch through the many systems of communication (Facebook, Student Council, Events Board, Student Council Newsletter, and emails.)
Counseling is available daily on-site to help students cope with personal matters and day-to-day challenges. Please visit the Student Service Coordinator for more information. A resource list of area psychologists and mental health services is made available to students and staff who seek more intensive therapy.
Diverse Sharing Circle processes are used to deal with any issues that may arise within the student body. If a student has a course/class issue, he/she may request a circle from the Program Coordinator and/or Instructor. Cultural teachings of protocols and circles will be provided in our Annual Cultural Camp (end of May) and some of the IYIS courses. If students are interested in learning more about the circle processes please speak with one of our Elders.
Various support groups are available in the area and for further information, please contact the Student Support Services office.
The College offers a small food bank. If students require help, they can access it through the Student Support Services office.
The Student Resource Center offers a place for students to gather and socialize, have coffee or relax between classes. You will find resource material on bursaries, the latest calendars, and a computer station. As well, there is a microwave, fridge and water fountain for student use. The Student Council raises money to provide free beverages and there are shelves of free items which you are welcome to take. The Student Resource Center welcomes all students.
Students are strongly encouraged to utilize these support services as they will help you to be successful in your academic career.
Health and Well-being
The College offers students free access to the fitness center located on campus. The center offers a range of equipment designed to provide a full workout. There is a gymnasium available for light sport activities. Blue Quills is proud to announce a newly created walking path and healing garden intended as a quiet place for reflection, connection to the land and gentle exercise.
Annual Career Fair
On the third Wednesday of March each year, Blue Quills hosts their annual “Career Day” and invites all the local high schools, colleges, and the general public to attend. Attendees can talk to representatives from a variety of businesses, agencies and post-secondary institutions about further education, employment, and/or pursuing new career opportunities.