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Archive for May, 2010

From an opinion piece by Richard Wagamese in the Kenora Daily Miner & News of May 22, 2010.

When it was established as a federated college through the University of Regina, the First Nations University of Canada was a beacon of hope. It offered First Nations students the opportunity to study within a framework that reflected their culture, history, languages and ceremony. This was critical. In an educational system that asked them throughout their student careers to follow outside standards and protocol many floundered, many quit and many gave up hope of ever getting the degrees they craved. FNUC allowed them to feel at home, to be surrounded by peers, to speak their languages and because of that, take straight aim at success.

In the time that I taught there I saw the light of possibility in every student’s eyes. That’s a powerful thing to be faced with. I saw youth encouraged and empowered by the presence of an institution that actually represented them and their identities. I saw a generation of potential leaders evolving under the gentle hands of an administration and faculty that understood their problems and their needs. I saw an entire student body learn to incorporate their traditional and cultural selves into a post secondary regime that’s daunting even for non-native students.

Read the full opinion piece in the Kenora Daily Miner & News.

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From a letter by Lyle Whitefish to the editor of the StarPhoenix, printed May 20, 2010.

Important work is underway to find governance solutions for FNUC and chart the future of the institution. Time is needed to develop, approve and implement a governance solution that will meet the requirements of all the stakeholders. In the meantime, the university must continue to educate students and, to accomplish this goal, the needed resources must reach the institution.

There are many reasons why the FNUC must continue to be a part of Saskatchewan’s educational fabric. If First Nations people are to play a significant role in Saskatchewan’s economic future, our robust young population needs to be educated and trained.

Read more in the StarPhoenix.

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From an opinion piece by Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber published in the CAUT Bulletin of May, 2010.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially apologized in June 2008 to the tens of thousands of former students of the residential schools system. “We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from rich and vibrant cultures and traditions — that it created a void in many lives and communities, and we apologize for having done this,” he said.

“There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian Residential Schools system to ever prevail again. You have been working on recovering from this experience for a long time and in a very real sense, we are now joining you on this journey.”

Last month, faculty of the First Nations University of Canada gathered to showcase the academic ex­cellence of the school. If anything, this place, this school, provides a way of recovering from past educational policies that the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs im­posed on First Nations communities throughout the history of this country.

Read the full opinion piece in the CAUT Bulletin.

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From an article by Kathleen Legris in the Canada Examiner of May 11, 2010.

The First Nations University announced Monday it will be putting its original Saskatoon campus up for sale immediately as part of major financial cutbacks. According to an announcement made by FNU President Shauneen Pete inside a Saskatoon classroom and broadcast to students and staff on the Regina and Prince Albert campuses, students will be allowed to complete their classes up to August 31st.

Read the full article in the Canada Examiner.

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From an article by Jason Warick in the Leader-Post of May 3, 2010.

[FNUniv president Shauneen] Pete announced the campus closure at 11 a.m. Monday inside a Saskatoon classroom packed with several dozen students, faculty and other staff. The announcement was broadcast by video to students and staff on the campuses in Regina and Prince Albert.

Pete told those gathered the Saskatoon campus was being put up for sale immediately. It will be closed as soon as a buyer is found. In addition, cuts to faculty and staff are to take place on all three campuses.

“Saskatoon is being put up for sale. (The cuts) were necessary,” Pete said in a brief interview on the Saskatoon campus Monday afternoon.

She said the school of Indian social work (ISW) will remain intact, but it’s unclear where the classes will be held.

Read more in the Leader-Post.

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From an article posted to CBC.ca on May 3, 2010.

The First Nations University of Canada is moving to sell its Saskatoon campus as part of a major financial overhaul.

FNUC president Shauneen Pete was confirming some cuts Monday morning during a private meeting with staff, faculty and students in Saskatoon.

FNUC has its main campus in Regina and satellite campuses in Saskatoon and Prince Albert. The Saskatoon building is north of the downtown at 710 Duke St.

Read more on CBC.ca.

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