Posts Tagged ‘URFA’

URFA is pleased for the students, faculty and staff as the announcement of $4M funding meets most of FNUniv’s requirements for this budget year. However, funding needs to be stabilized so that it does not flow through annual granting programs such as the Indian Student Support Program (ISSP) in order for the university to plan with predictability for its future growth. No other Canadian university operates its core programs on the basis of annual grants that must be applied for and this mechanism perpetuates FNniv’s financial jeopardy.

At a time when the Aboriginal population has the greatest growth rate in Canada, this institution should be looking to expand programs, not reduce them. The provincial and federal governments have a responsibility to ensure that the chronic under funding of FNUniv is addressed as they look at ways of dealing with structure and governance.

Dr. Miguel Sanchez, Interim Chair, URFA, 306-585-4378
Patricia Fleming, Executive Director, URFA, 306-585-4586

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Everyone is invited to the Solidarity Picnic and Barbeque on Thursday, April 15, from 12 noon to 6 pm, at First Nations University.

The Solidarity Picnic is an alcohol-free, come-and-go-as-you-please event to be held at the First Nations University of Canada, Treaty 4 land. There will be a large tent, chairs, a stage, and a BBQ area. This event is free.

  • Noon-12:10 Arrival
  • 12:10 Cadmus Delorme/Diane Adams/or member/s of the FUNnivSA opening remarks
  • 12:20 FUNniv Officials including Dr. Herman Michell VP Academic
  • 12:35 Local Onlyz (music/hip hop)
  • 1pm Dagan Harding(acoustic solo)
  • 1:25 Dr. Linda Goulet, FUNniv/ DJ Music
  • 1:30 Terrence Littletent & the Kawacatoose Drummer Boys (hoop dancing)
  • 2:30 Dr. James McNinch, Dean of Education
  • 2:40 The Hoarsemen (tentative) / DJ Music
  • 2:50 Mike & Bree (song and story)
  • 3:05 Alfred Youngman (acoustic solo)
  • 3:12 Lionel Peyachew (acoustic solo)
  • 3:20 CUPE 1975/2419/URFA
  • 3:30 Rah Rah
  • 4:20 Lonesome Weekends
  • 4:35 Warren McCall, MLA Elphinstone-Centre/ Dr. Anthony Hall, University of Lethbridge/ DJMusic
  • 4:50 Al Fricker performs “A Change Is Gonna Come”
  • 5:00 The Nancy Ray-Guns
  • 5:50 Keith Goulet, FUNniv/Closing ceremonies

For more information contact:
Marc Spooner at: marc.spooner@uregina.ca
Cadmus Delorme at: cadmusd@hotmail.com
Patrick Lewis at: patrick.lewis@uregina.ca

Made possible through generous support from:

  • FNUnivSA
  • Presidents of University of Regina and First Nations University
  • URSU
  • Faculty of Education University of Regina
  • CFS- Saskatchewan
  • and others

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February 26, 2010

Dear Minister,

We are deeply concerned at the seeming indifference the government is displaying toward the faculty and staff at First Nations University who will be casualties of the irresponsible decision to close down the only Aboriginal university in Canada. As the University of Regina Faculty Association, we are a trade union representing one hundred faculty and staff of First Nations University. In total, the Faculty Association represents fifteen hundred faculty and staff of the University of Regina and its three federated colleges – Campion College, Luther College, and First Nations University.

The closure of First Nations University is unprecedented in Canada – no other Canadian university has ever been closed. We fear that such a closure could reflect deep-seated racial antipathy toward First Nations people.

The Faculty Association urges the federal government to reconsider its decision to withdraw funding for First Nations University and find a way to ensure its survival. We note the following facts:

  1. Labour force projections indicate that Saskatchewan employers will be increasingly reliant on Aboriginal workers to support future economic growth.
  2. Demographic trends indicate that Aboriginal people constitute a rapidly growing segment of the population. As the proportion of the population that is Aboriginal continues to grow, more Aboriginal doctors, teachers, social workers and other professionals will be needed.
  3. Aboriginal students face many challenges in attending and completing university programs.
  4. First Nations University employs pedagogic and cultural practices that support Aboriginal students, providing them with greater opportunities to succeed.
  5. The programs offered at First Nations University are unique in Canada.
  6. The skills and backgrounds of the faculty and support personnel who deliver those programs are similarly unique, and significantly contribute to student success.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations has shown good faith in initiating the changes required to bring the governance structures at First Nations University into conformity with those of other universities, and a working group with representation from all stakeholder groups is currently working on a revised funding model for First Nations University. The University of Regina has expressed its willingness to support First Nations University.

Therefore, the Faculty Association finds it incomprehensible that the government continues to pursue a course of action that in the long run will be detrimental to all Aboriginal people, to the province of Saskatchewan and to Canada’s international reputation.

We urge you, in the strongest terms, to support the continued operation of First Nations University.

We request a meeting with you as soon as possible. We will be contacting you in the next week to arrange a time and place.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Janice Foley
Chair, University of Regina Faculty Association

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University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA) – First Nations University
February 8, 2010

URFA is hopeful that the recent decisions by the federal and provincial governments to pull the funding from First Nations University will be revisited once the governance reforms, already begun last week, are satisfactorily concluded.

We believe it is essential that First Nations University continues to operate as an independent entity, whose mission is to preserve the knowledge and culture of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples for future generations.

The faculty and staff at First Nations University are central to fulfilling this mission, and we expect every effort will be made to preserve their jobs.

Aboriginal people will constitute an increasingly significant proportion of Saskatchewan’s labour force in the future. We believe it is in the best interests of all the people of Saskatchewan and Canada to guarantee the future educational success of Aboriginal students by reinstating funding to First Nations University.

Dr. Janice Foley, Chair, URFA, 306-585-4731
Paul Gingrich, Acting Executive Director, URFA, 306-585-4586

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University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA) Statement – First Nations University

February 4, 2010

The University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA)[1] has listened to the media reports about the First Nations University over the last few weeks with increasing dismay. We are deeply concerned about how the continuing governance problems and the recently announced loss of $5.2 million in provincial funding will affect the faculty and staff at that institution, as well as the students.

Our members play a critical role in the University’s ability to fulfill its mission of enhancing the quality of life, and preserving and protecting the heritage of First Nations people. The knowledge base of the faculty is irreplaceable and our members are to be commended for their unflagging dedication and commitment not only to their students but to the institution itself, particularly in light of the challenges the institution has been facing since 2005.

URFA does not want to see the faculty and staff or the students suffer – they have not caused the current problems.

URFA will do its utmost to help our members maintain their employment, and in doing so, ensure that First Nations University students receive the quality education they deserve. This is crucial to the future economic success of this province and is in the best interests of the people of Saskatchewan and all Canadians.

We call on all parties to ensure that First Nations University can continue to fulfill its mandate into the future under an appropriate governance model. In the event this cannot be achieved we urge the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the Government of Saskatchewan, the Government of Canada, and the University of Regina to protect our First Nations University members as necessary changes are introduced.

Contacts: for further information contact Dr. Janice Foley, Chair, URFA, 306-585-4731 or Paul Gingrich, Acting Executive Director, URFA, 306-585-4586.

[1] The University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA) is the trade union that is the bargaining agent for fourteen hundred academic, administrative, professional and technical staff at the University of Regina and its three federated colleges. We represent 66 faculty members and 35 administrative, professional and technical employees at First Nations University.

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