Friday, February 26, 2010
Chief Operating Officer
First Nations University of Canada
Re: Support for a Resolution at First Nations University of Canada
Dear Mr. Anaquod:
On behalf of the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development in Saskatchewan (RCE Saskatchewan), both Dr. Roger Petry and I as its co-coordinators would like to signify our support for not only your role as the new interim Chief Operating Officer of the First Nations University of Canada, but also the collective determination and good will that you, your faculty, staff, and students are bringing to resolve the current difficulties you are experiencing. We are all impacted by the outcomes of the upcoming decisions governing First Nations University of Canada’s funding arrangements and its future as distinct scholarly community as you offer unique educational models for supporting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) regionally and globally with a First Nations perspective.
As you are aware, RCE Saskatchewan was designated by the United Nations University in 2007. We worked closely with members of First Nations University of Canada in hosting the first International RCE Conference of the Americas at the University of Regina in May of 2008, along with our other organizational partners including the University of Regina, Luther College, the University of Saskatchewan, and SIAST. RCE Saskatchewan has also relied on further partnerships with your faculty who have shared research and done presentations for the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education, helped develop the Green Life educational series (as seen on the SCN network), and assisting RCE Saskatchewan in developing an educational model for sustainable development in 2009 that includes traditional ways of knowing of First Nations people and their cultural perspectives. At this time we further recognize the importance and strength of the new partnerships we understand both you and the First Nations University of Canada are facilitating in attempting to provide an interim model of co-determination that is respectful of the history, integrity, and especially the educational successes that have been achieved by your institution and its scholars. We assume this will be grounded on its historical partnerships and continue to embody principles of mutual respect, cooperation, and understanding.
We wish both you and all of our other partners (especially those from higher education and government) much success during this challenging period. We would like to offer our support in a manner which you and the other partners might find useful to meet and enhance opportunities to resolve the current issues. As mandated by the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UN DESD 2005-2014), we are committed to assisting in the development of a model that ensures a sustainable future for First Nations University of Canada and the social and human capital found within its scholarly community. This community has had many successes and holds much promise in the area of Education for Sustainable Development. It is unique both within our region and within the international scholarly community. The distinctive work of your faculty and students is important for regional and national education, and for international sustainable educational partnerships. As one of 74 global RCEs that advance research based on a respect for the autonomy of our organizational partners along with the potential we observe when networking for the common cause of sustainability, we affirm the importance of your maintaining a distinct, self-governing scholarly community operating in partnership with the University of Regina. We look forward to any further discussions or support you may require from RCE Saskatchewan.
Lyle A. Benko and Roger A. Petry