Posts Tagged ‘apology’

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

From an editorial by Bruce Johnstone in the Leader-Post of April 17, 2010.

Yet, the feeling one gets is that the situation will get resolved. The federal government is finally talking constructively, instead of destructively, about FNUniv.

One by one, the obstacles to a resolution have been removed.

All that remains is for the federal government to get back on board. The recent meeting between Strahl and First Nations leaders sets the stage for the long-awaited finale to this long-running soap opera.

That it should come down to a last-minute, 11th hour resolution is regrettable, but perhaps understandable and probably inevitable.

The problems at FNUniv were deeply entrenched and many years in the making; it required a Herculean effort to resolve them.

We hope in the days ahead we shall see that resolution take root so that, like flowers in spring, FNUniv can start growing again.

Read the full editorial in the Leader-Post.

Read Full Post »

From an editorial by Doug Cuthand in the Leader-Post of April 16, 2010.

Although Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl’s concerns have been addressed, the only federal response has been to offer $3 million in programming funds that must be applied for.

It amounts to nothing more than a public relations stunt, and a poor one at that. It allows the colonial office to wash its hands of the problem and blame the victim.

FNUC students and faculty are fighting hard. Live-ins, teach-ins and other methods of protest are underway daily. Now the FSIN leadership and the chiefs need to step up and prove that FNUC has support provincewide.

In spite of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s stand that it was a tough budget for tough times, and that his plan is to rein in spending, the spending on penitentiaries will increase 36 per cent between now and 2012-13.

Ron Clark, Tory MP for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, is the most vulnerable. Lots of students from his constituency attend FNUC, particularly at the Prince Albert campus. The people in the North are proud of their campus, and the leaders are proud of the students. The government’s blunder won’t be forgotten in the next election.

Read the full editorial in the Leader-Post.

Read Full Post »

From an article by Patrick White in the Globe and Mail of Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

At a celebration of the school’s academic research on Wednesday, teachers will lecture on topics ranging from the geometry of teepees to songbirds to native plants. It’s part of an effort to persuade Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl that the university is a serious academic institution that deserves to have its funding restored.

“Minister Strahl has made some degrading comments about the university in the last few months and he’s really off base there,” said Jesse Archibald-Barber, an English professor at the school who will give a lecture comparing Mr. Strahl with Duncan Campbell Scott, the head of Indian Affairs between 1913 and 1932 who championed native residential schools. “This conference is a response to those remarks and him calling into question our academic integrity. We have the largest concentration of first nations PhDs in the country. It’s frightening to think that could just dissipate.”

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.

Read Full Post »

Please sign the open letter prepared by CAUT at http://www.caut.ca/fnuc/default.aspx?page=1

Read Full Post »

REGINA, March 31 /CNW Telbec/ – Students at the First Nations University of Canada have been hung out to dry by Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, who announced yesterday that the federal government will only provide funding for students at the University until the end of the academic year.

“Minister Strahl has exposed the federal government’s contempt for Canada’s Aboriginal peoples,” said Thomas Roussin, representative of the National Aboriginal Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Students at First Nations University need a future, not a five month contract.”

Following years of difficulties the institution recently restructured and reached an agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the University of Regina on principles for a new funding mechanism that will address issues of governance and make the institution more accountable. Shortly after reaching the agreement the government of Saskatchewan committed to restore funding; however without the federal government’s $7.2 million annual contribution, the University cannot afford to keep its doors open.

“The federal government is ignoring its treaty obligation to fund Aboriginal education,” added Roussin. “While the government of Saskatchewan has recognized the vital need for a First Nations institution, Ottawa is turning its back on the only such University in Canada.”

First Nations University of Canada has been a symbol of leadership in Aboriginal post-secondary education to people around the world. The University serves as a model for Aboriginal controlled education. The Canadian Federation of Students and National Aboriginal Caucus have called on the government to honour their apology to the Residential School Survivors and increase funding to Aboriginal education and healing.

Founded in 1981, the Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students from ten provinces. The National Aboriginal Caucus is the voice of Aboriginal students in Canada with members on campuses from St. John’s to Victoria.

For further information: Thomas Roussin, National Aboriginal Caucus representative, (306) 596-6716

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »