Letter to Regional Chief Guy Lonechild from National Chief Shawn Atleo

by NationTalk on March 17, 20101323 Views

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March 11, 2010

Regional Chief Guy Lonechild
Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
200-103A Packham Avenue
Saskatoon, SK S7N 4K4

Dear Regional Chief Lonechild;

First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) is an important institution for all First Nations. First Nations peoples from across Canada are current students and graduates of FNUC. FNUC and First Nations post secondary institutions across the country are breaking new ground and gaining mainstream acceptance and support for Indigenous controlled educational institutions.On behalf of the National Executive, I am concerned about the future of FNUC and its students. We applaud the concerted efforts of the leadership throughout Saskatchewan who have, with your leadership, demonstrated an unwavering commitment to resolving this situation in the best interests of the students and the future sustainability of this important institution. Recent resolutions adopted by consensus of your Assembly have set a clear course for the future in which all necessary steps to address administrative and governance matters will be accomplished.

As such, the Assembly of First Nations offers our continued support to you and the leadership of Saskatchewan in resolving this matter. We steadfastly encourage the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada to work with you and your partners to put the students first and address all outstanding matters enabling the funding to be reinstated and the institution set on a stable course for the years to come. We understand that the FSIN is looking for reinstatement of funding from the Federal Government of $7.2 million and from the Saskatchewan Government $5.2 million by March 31, 2010.

The education of First Nations students must always be foremost in everyone’s minds. We must not forget the 3000 students that have successfully graduated from this institution and who now serve as respected leaders in their respective disciplines. We know that we must graduate a further 65,000 students to close the gap between our people and the general population. There is a critical role for FNUC in accomplishing this goal and we must all strive to work together towards this central objective.

As First Nation leaders, we stand united in support of your efforts and in support of our students and all of our future generations.

Respectfully,

Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
National Chief

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