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From an article by Stephen LaRose published on rabble.ca on April 13, 2010.

The province has agreed to bring back its funding — after FNUC signed a four-year deal with the University of Regina, allowing the university to handle FNUC’s money, which was where many of the battles over FNUC’s control by the FSIN occurred, and which was roasted in Westerlund’s report.

But Ottawa has thought otherwise. Four days after the chiefs’ congress removed the board of governors, Strahl announced that INAC would suspend its $7.2 million operating payment to the college. The transitional funding announced March 30 probably pays for the severance packages of professors, who will be eagerly picked up by other universities and colleges in Canada. As for the students, they get squat.

“In reality, it means the end of First Nations University,” says Jim Turk, the executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. (Officials from FNUC, the student council and officials from the FSIN were unavailable for comment as the story went to press.)

Strahl’s announcement does little good for FNUC’s current students. Take Swan, for example. FNUC has one of the three aboriginal linguistics programs in Canada he requires to earn his degree in his area of specialization. But if and when FNUC closes its doors, Strahl’s plan calls for students enrolled in his program to move to another university. Except, in Swan’s case, the nearest university — the U of Regina — doesn’t have an indigenous studies department, so where does he go to complete his education?

Read the full article on rabble.ca.

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SASKATOON, SK, April 14 /CNW/ – Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Chief Guy Lonechild today commented on the process in which First Nations University is currently engaged – namely, accessing long term, sustainable funding.

“Given that FSIN is one of the stakeholders of First Nations University, we have a very strong interest in seeing continued progress in ensuring that long-term, sustainable funding for this important institution is in place as soon as possible,” said Chief Lonechild.

Chief Lonechild acknowledged and welcomed the efforts of First Nations University, the Government of Canada and Minister Strahl, along with the previously announced support of Minister Rob Norris of the Government of Saskatchewan, in continuing to work diligently toward this important goal.

“First Nations University has prepared a business case that sets out a strategic framework for its renewal. We are very confident this business-like, systematic approach will achieve the important goals of transparency and accountability to which all of the stakeholders are committed,” stated Chief Lonechild. “The business case approach is also important in enabling First Nations University to make the difficult, but necessary, changes that will enable it to serve First Nations students long into the future.”

For further information: Contact information for media: Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Mervin Brass, Executive Director of Communications, Direct: (306) 956-1026, Cellular: (306) 220-7187, mervin.brass@fsin.com

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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.

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FNUniv community, supporters and anyone interested is invited to come learn about the “FNUniv Difference!”

Come find out about the exciting, innovative, interesting and interactive work of faculty members at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina. Read below.. you won’t want to miss this!

Faculty and sessional lecturers from the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) will present academic seminars highlighting various research initiatives on 14 April 2010 from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm. The presentations will take place in FNUniv’s common area.

As part of the event, Jim Turk, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), will address the current funding crisis resulting from the federal position on FNUniv.

Academic Excellence at FNUniv: Presentations

  • 8:00 Pipe Ceremony
  • 9:00-9:15 Dr. Shauneen Pete
  • 9:15-9:30 Blair Stonechild: “Post-secondary education as ‘the new buffalo'”
  • 9:30-9:45 Jan van Eijk: “Linguistics as a tool against racism”
  • 9:45-10:00 Randy Lundy: Poetry reading
  • 10:00-10:15 Bettina Schneider: “Reclaiming economic sovereignty: Native & aboriginal financial institutions”
  • 10:15-10:30 Coffee break
  • 10:30-10:45 Alfred Young Man: “Teaching Native Art in a non-Native University”
  • 10:45-11:00 Fidji Gendron: “Native Plants as Educational Tools”
  • 11:00-11:15 Linda Goulet
    & Jo-Ann Episkenew

  • 11:15-11:30 Edward Doolittle: “Differential Geometry of Teepees”
  • 11:30-11:45 James Turk: (CAUT)
  • 12:15-1:15 Lunch/ Activities in Gallery
  • 1:15-2:15 Panel on Indigenous education (David Miller, Angelina
    Weenie, Esther-Kathleen Segal, Sylvia McAdam)

  • 2:15-2:30 Jesse Archibald-Barber: “The Re-incarnation of Duncan Campbell Strahl”
  • 2:30-2:45 Arzu Sadarli: “Water quality project”
  • 2:45-3:00 Shannon Avison
  • 3:00-3:15 Olga Lovick “Songbirds and Birdsongs”
  • 3:15-3:30 Closing Remarks

Activities in Gallery

  • Judy Anderson: Hands-on art in gallery; safety pin headdress (interactive)
  • Lionel Peyachew: Drum making demonstration
  • Jeff Sanderson, Sol Ratt & Sheila Kennedy: Interactive Cree

For more information: Bridget Keating bk_keating@yahoo.co.uk

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Watch Inside the Circle, a television news program produced by the students in the Indian Communication Arts (INCA) program at the First Nations University of Canada. Segments on the program include

  • Indian Communication Arts (INCA) program
  • First Nations University convocation, and valedictorian Angela Severight
  • Department of Indigenous Education
  • Elders at First Nations University
  • First Nations University Powwow
  • Intercultural Leadership Program (ILP)
  • On-line Cree Language Education
  • Environmental Health and Science (ENHS) Program
  • Indigenous Governance Program
  • Indigenous Land Claims Research
  • Proposed Changes to Indian Postsecondary Education Funding
  • Veterans Memorial Teepee
  • Lionel Peyachew of Indigenous Fine Arts
  • First Nations University Art Gallery
  • Jo-Ann Episkenew of English, and the Residential School Literature class
  • Profiles of Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA) students

Watch Inside the Circle on the INCA channel.

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First Nations University has 3,027 graduates worldwide, including 120 indigenous graduates in Central and South America. We have alumni who are doctors (one is a heart surgeon), nurses (71 in the last five years), lawyers, social workers, teachers, dentists, dental therapists, public health inspectors, professors, accountants, business leaders, and so on. We have educated over 400 civil servants for the federal and provincial governments, from managers to a deputy minister, and we have educated over 1,000 civil servants for Indian government.

Our graduates have won major awards, including a Rhodes Scholarship, the prestigious $50,000 CBC Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister award, and just this year one of our students won the National Red Cross Youth Humanitarian Award.

Over 32,000 individuals have taken at least one course from our institution. Unfortunately, due to the way our federation agreement works with the University of Regina system, many graduates (particularly those in graduate school programs) are not listed among our official graduates. For example, we have had over 100 graduates from our Linguistics program, but for the most part they do not show up as First Nations University students in our stats.

If you value the positive impact that First Nations University has had and can continue to have, write to Rob Norris today.

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Dr. Bettina Schneider, Assistant Professor, School of Business and Public Administration. Dr. Schneider holds a Ph.D. in Native American Studies and an M.S. in Community Development from the University of California, Davis. Her area of specialization is Community and Economic Development. Dr. Schneider is a Canada-U.S. Fulbright recipient. She was granted a Fulbright fellowship in 2006 to conduct her dissertation research on Aboriginal and Native Financial Institutions in Canada and the United States. She is currently involved in the following research projects with numerous scholars throughout Canada: Urban Aboriginal Economic Development Learning Circle, Urban Reserves Research Project and Case Study, First Nations Financial Reporting and Accountability Research Project and Case Study. Dr. Schneider is also involved in other research proposals and community projects, such as the School of Business and Public Administration’s Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Camp, all of which would be severely jeopardized should funding to First Nations University be cut.

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