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Building Bridges – UNEAL, Brazil

Posted on: Dec 19, 2017

Building global bridges is the ultimate goal of CUE’s International Office. With the signing of the Indigenous Education MOU with UNEAL, Northern Brazil’s State University of Alagoas, last month, CUE has found another winning partnership.

A joint research project between CUE, UNEAL and UPorto (our partner in Portugal) has already been published – stay tuned for more on this! – and a second international research project with these same partners is already underway. This research cooperation will be significant to our new Indigenous Knowledge and Research Centre in the Centre for Science, Research and Innovation.

On a visit to CUE last month, President Jairo Campos da Costa of UNEAL was a guest speaker at NMUN Canada in Banff, hosted by CUE. He spoke passionately about his university’s relationship with the Indigenous peoples and UNEAL’s engagement for indigenous teacher education in Northern Brazil.

Since his return, President Campos de Costa has been a vocal advocate of our partnership, sharing his Canadian experience with his university community and the Indigenous communities that he visits regularly. He is currently on a tour of 13 communities – so far, he has visted with the Tingüi-Botó, the Wassu Cocal, the KOIUPANKÁ, the women’s cooperative at the Ilha do Ferro (Iron Island), Karapotó Plak-ô and Karapoto Terra Nova. He is working on gathering information and feedback to inform his meetings with the current Brazilian government, who have cut back and withdrawn support for inclusion programs for these groups. He is actively seeking funds to continue UNEAL’s Intercultural Indigenous Teacher Education Program.

President Campos de Costa has shared photos and stories from his visits to these Indigenous communities, including video of the indigenous celebratory round dance, the Tore, to which he is greeted with wherever he goes. UNEAL’s alumni are often present in these communities, currently working as public school teachers, as well as with medicine men and chiefs.

CUE is looking forward to deepening its ties and research cooperation further with this university and its highly engaged president!

If you would like further information, please contact Dr. Manfred Zeuch, VP External Affairs and International Relations.