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This is a reminder that the FNUniv Thank You BBQ will be held TODAY June 23rd, 2010 from 4pm until 8pm at the FNUniv Regina Campus (or until everyone feels like going home!)

Facepainting for the kids from 4:30 – 5:30.

Musical Showcase provided by T.A.L.ENT, the Aboriginal Lounge Entertainment and MC’d by Tessa Desnomie, FNUniv Alumnus.

Between 5 and 5:30 pm, speeches and presentations will begin. The FNUnivSA will thank all those who donated to the FNUniv Live-in. There will also be special presentations to Dr. Lloyd Barber, and the family of the Late David Ahenakew.

Everyone who lent camping supplies to the Live-in is asked to drop by and claim their belongings tomorrow from 4-8 as well.

Come have some food, and celebrate our achievements for the Future of FNUniv … the fight for permanent funding far from over, but it’s time to stop and celebrate a big victory.

See you there!

Diane Adams
President
FNUNivSA

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Diane Adams of the First Nations University Students’ Association writes:

AFN National Chief Sean Atleo will be at the FNUniv Regina to meet and greet with students tomorrow, June 15. If you are available please feel free to come by…. It will be a short meet-and-greet from 11:00 – 11:30 am, so be on time!! Location exec boardroom.

See you there!

Diane

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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 an article posted on CBC.ca on April 8, 2010.

Without government support, it will take 63 years for the income gap between First Nations, Métis and Inuit and their non-aboriginal counterparts to disappear, says the non-partisan research institute Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which did the study.

The Conservatives are “already engaging in a new approach to providing support for First Nations and Inuit post-secondary experience,” according to Margot Geduld, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs.

In 2008-2009, the government spent $300 million on post-secondary education for an estimated 22,000 First Nations students, Geduld said, with further funding set aside in the 2010 budget.

But the report suggests that’s not enough.

To erase the gap, the government should abandon its “traditional colonial style” of imposing “ideas that worked for the dominant culture,” the report said, in favour of allowing communities to develop their own educational and training strategies.

It will also require a major shift away from what the report calls “the colonial administration of aboriginal communities” by the Canadian government.

Read more at CBC.ca.

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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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Professor Edward Doolittle of First Nations University is featured on CBC’s The Story from Here on April 14, 2010, speaking about the current financial crisis and its effect on faculty.

The audio file is available at CBC.ca.

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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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