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From an opinion piece by Murray Mandryk in the Regina Leader-Post of June 5, 2010.

No one acted more admirably than Cadmus Delorme and the other students, who immediately took the fight to the assembly of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

Along with dedicated FNUC teachers such as Randy Lundy, they didn’t quit until the funding was restored this week.

The entire First Nations community should be proud them. We all should.

But absolutely no one deserves more praise than FSIN Chief Guy Lonechild.

Read more in the Leader-Post.

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From a posting by Ryan Pilon on the News Talk 650 CKOM web site, posted June 15, 2010.

Atleo says the university is vital to the future of the First Nations people.

“If we are able to close the education gap in a 10 year time frame, it would mean more than 70 billion contributions by First Nations to the Canadian economy.”

Read more on the News Talk 650 CKOM web site.

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Media Release

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2010

FSIN Chiefs in Assembly Approve First Nations University Amendments

(Saskatoon SK): The Chiefs in Assembly of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) has approved a series of amendments to the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) Act last Thursday, June 10, 2010.

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Guy Lonechild said, “This legislative amendment is a very significant step forward for First Nations University. It represents tremendous commitment on the part of the partners in the process and the culmination of months of intense work by all of them. In my role as FSIN Chief, I applaud those efforts. Success has been achieved because all of us, as partners, did precisely what we committed to accomplish.”

The amendments to the First Nations University (FNUniv) Act of Canada approved by the Chiefs in Assembly last week include the following: reducing the Board of Governors from twenty-one members to nine, appointing Board members based on skills and experience, thereby depoliticizing it, implementing best practices in Board governance, and allowing for national representation.

“Throughout the past few months, FSIN has been completely supportive of the efforts of all the partners to achieve significant improvements in governance, accountability and financial stewardship for First Nations University,” said Chief Lonechild.

In February 2010, an FSIN resolution established an Interim Board of Governors for First Nations University. The Interim Board’s mandate was to increase the level of financial stability and address governance issues as outlined in the All Chiefs Task Force and the Dr. Manley Begay Report. Later that month, FSIN assisted in the establishment of a technical working group that was mandated to develop a series of working agreements for the partners. A Memorandum of Understanding between the partners was finalized in March, at which time provincial funding was reinstated.

In March and April, the First Nations University Interim Board of Governors submitted an Indian Studies Support Program (ISSP) proposal as well as a business plan. As a result of those applications, the Government of Canada reinstated a total of up to $7 Million under the ISSP envelope.

“Throughout those months, our role, as FSIN leadership, has been to continuously communicate to the federal Minister and Members of Parliament the pivotal role of First Nations University. Above all, we conveyed the overriding need to address the long term interests of First Nations University students,” stated Chief Lonechild.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.

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For More Information Visit www.fsin.com

Mervin Brass, Executive Director of Communications
Direct: 306.956.1026
Cellular: 306.220.7187
Email BlackBerry: mervin.brass@fsin.com

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Media Advisory
FSIN Communications Unit

The FSIN would like to issue the following Media Advisory:

Where: First Nations University of Canada, 1 First Nations Way, Regina SK

When: 1:45 pm, June 15, 2010

FSIN Spokesperson: FSIN Chief Guy Lonechild and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo

Issue: Chief Lonechild and National Chief Atleo will be available to discuss their meetings with FNUniv and UofR officials.

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For More Information Please Contact:

Mervin Brass, FSIN Communications
Direct: 306.956-1026
Facsimile: 306.665-0115
Email: mervin.brass@fsin.com

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From an article by Kerry Benjoe in the Leader-Post of Friday, June 11, 2010.

Joely BigEagle, chairwoman of the FNUniv board of govenors said it’s been a long and difficult process to keep the doors of the university open. She reminded everyone that the fight is not over.

“There is a lot of work ahead of us and I know we’re working on tight timeframes,” said BigEagle. “We’re still going through restructuring. We’re still going through downsizing. We have deficits for this year.”

She said last year’s projected deficit is much higher than anticipated because of the funding was pulled during the semester and restructuring the institute has been costly.

Read the full article in the Leader-Post.

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OTTAWA, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ – Today, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo welcomed an announcement by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Minister Chuck Strahl that he will restore $4 Million in funding to the First Nations University (FNUniv), which will cover expenses from Sept. 1 to March 31.

“This is good news for students, and First Nations across Canada who deeply value the First Nations University and who, until now, have been concerned about the future of this institution,” said National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. “It’s an acknowledgement from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Minister Chuck Strahl that many improvements have been made to ensure the future accountability and sustainability of the First Nations University.”

The National Chief also congratulated students, the Interim Board of Governors, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and AFN Regional Chief Guy Lonechild for their clear and strong commitment to FNUniv.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, (613) 292-0857 or agaron@afn.ca; Jenna Young, Communications Officer, Assembly of First Nations, (613) 314-8157 or jyoung@afn.ca

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From an article by Tim Switzer in the Vancouver Sun of Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

On Wednesday, staff and students at FNUniv breathed a collective sigh of relief when Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl announced the federal government would provide the embattled school with $4 million to cover costs from Sept. 1 to March 31.

“I really hold the First Nations University dear to my heart,” said soon-to-be-third-year business student Rebecca Sangwais while sitting behind the counter at Kohkum Bea’s convenience store at FNUniv. “I didn’t realize at first how awesome this university is and the support system it offers. I was worried that it would be shutting down.

“I’m really overjoyed to know we’re going to be here for another year and hopefully for the future.”

The next step is for the university to secure long-term, sustainable funding. The $4-million offer, like the $3 million provided by the federal government to see students through the end of August, comes from the Indian Studies Support Program and comes with conditions that FNUniv meets milestones for governance and accountability changes.

FNUniv president Shauneen Pete was not made available to speak to the media Wednesday, but said in a news release that the “board of governors has committed an extraordinary effort to restore governance and accountability structures.”

She also noted that, while funding is back near the level it was in February when over $12 million was pulled from the university by the federal and provincial governments following years of allegations of financial mismanagement and political interference, there are still dollars that can be saved.

Liberal Ralph Goodale, the local MP, cautiously applauded the move.

“It’s a good sign, but it’s not a guarantee and that’s what’s really required here,” said Goodale. “Hopefully, all of the partners here will use the time that’s available here to put into place an arrangement that will last a long time on a sound and credible financial basis.”

Read the full article in the Vancouver Sun.

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