First Nations University of Canada
|First Nations University of Canada|
|Established||Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (1976-2003); First Nations University of Canada (2003-present)|
|President||Juliano Tupone (Acting)|
|Location||Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Campus||Regina Campus (Regina)
Saskatoon Campus (Saskatoon)
North Campus (Prince Albert)
The First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) (formerly Saskatchewan Indian Federated College) is a university in Saskatchewan, Canada with campuses in Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert. The Regina campus building was designed by architect Douglas Cardinal.
Basic information 
Although it is called the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) and is recognized as a university by the Saskatchewan Government, the institution is actually a federated college of the University of Regina (U of R), and its degrees are recognized as U of R degrees. The enabling legislation is An Act Respecting the University of Regina, Chapter U-5. 
The top two and a half floors of its Regina campus building are leased as office space to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).
FNUniv students at the Regina campus pay regular U of R related and University of Regina Student Union fees. Like the other federated colleges of Luther and Campion, FNUniv students may utilize all of the U of R facilities (libraries, book stores, clubs, parking, labs, etc.) and services (meal plans, residences, web/on-line services, career counselling, etc.). The FNUniv degree programs are correlated with the rest of the U of R curriculum.
FNUniv is open to students of all cultures and nationalities and not restricted only to those of First Nations descent.
|“||This stone was taken from the grounds of Balmoral Castle in the Highlands of Scotland – a place dear to my great great grandmother, Queen Victoria. It symbolises the foundation of the rights of First Nations peoples reflected in treaties signed with the Crown during her reign. Bearing the cipher of Queen Victoria as well as my own, this stone is presented to the First Nations University of Canada in the hope that it will serve as a reminder of the special relationship between the Sovereign and all First Nations peoples.||”|
— Elizabeth II at the First Nations University of Canada, 2005
Star Blanket Cree Nation has proposed a plan to declare the institution's property an Urban Indian reserve under a Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement involving Star Blanket, the provincial and federal governments. Band members of the Star Blanket Nation unanimously voted in favour of this plan during a 2008 referendum.
The Saskatchewan Indian Federated College was affiliated from the first with the University of Regina. It was founded in 1976 by an agreement between the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the University of Regina, with the stated intent of serving "the academic, cultural and spiritual needs of First Nations' students".
Aboriginal programs 
The university designed special programs in partnership with Aboriginal communities to meet the human resource needs of Aboriginal communities in areas such as health, education and the environment - examples include its National School of Dental Therapy, Nursing and Health Studies programs. A special first-year bridging programs for Aboriginal students is provided, with Aboriginal Elders present on campus to provide social supports. FNUniv offers a comprehensive career services program to meet the vocational problems of Aboriginal students. .
Scholarships & Bursaries 
The Government of Canada sponsors an Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool that lists over 680 scholarships, bursaries, and other incentives offered by governments, universities, and industry to support Aboriginal post-secondary participation. First Nations University of Canada scholarships for Aboriginal, First Nations and Métis students include: Adam Dreamhealer Prize; Ayahkamimakan Pimatisiwin (Life Continues) Bursary; Albert Bellegarde Memorial Scholarship; Grain Services Union Bursary; Molson Entrance Scholarship; Hudson's Bay Company Student Achievement Award for Excellence; Information Systems Management (ISM) Scholarship; Many Nations/Maritime Life Assurance Award; Jean Shoebridge Memorial Book Prize; Mary Ahenakew Memorial Scholarship Award; Margaret and Clare Sherrard Friendship Scholarship; Paul J. Dudgeon Memorial Scholarship; SGI Stan Hamilton Scholarship; Solomon Mosquito Scholarship in English; Wendy Swenson Memorial Scholarship; Meyers Norris Penny LLP Scholarship; Bobby Bird Memorial Scholarship; Dr. Oliver Brass Graduate Studies Award; Dr. Suzanne Marcia Nilson Scholarship in Biology 
Professional standing 
In May 2007, the university was put on probation by the AUCC, following a controversy in February 2005, in which the university fired a number of staff members. The association demanded the university establish full independence from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations within a year. The university complied with the AUCC directives, and was reinstated in April 2008.
In November 2008, the Canadian Association of University Teachers voted unanimously to censure FNUniv and asked its members not accept jobs, honours or awards at the university. Changes made relating to academic freedom, governance and political autonomy were reported to be reason for the censure vote. The censure was lifted in April 2010 after the university made very significant governance changes.
Financial support 
In October 2008, the government of Saskatchewan gave the university $1.6 million to relieve a chronic budget deficit. The money was given to cover salaries of faculty and operating expenses. Another $400,000 was to be spent on a review of the university's long-term operations.
In February 2009, the provincial government withheld $200,000 of funding. Lack of progress in solving the institution's problems was cited as the reason. By March 18, enough progress had been made for the government to release half the frozen funds.
In June 2009, the federal government withheld $2.4 million in funding, saying it wanted to see changes at the institution before the money would be handed over. University officials responded by accusing the federal and provincial governments of being uncooperative and unnecessarily negative in their attempts to address alleged governance problems. On February 3, 2010, the provincial government of Saskatchewan officially suspended funding the FNUniv effective April 1, 2010. The next day, the FNUniv's board of governors was dissolved.  On February 8, 2010, the Canadian federal government announced it will cease funding the University, effective March 31, 2010.  However, on March 23, 2010, the province of Saskatchewan restored funding. In June 2010, the federal government announced the provision of $4 million of support in response to the changes in governance that were underway; however, these funds would be administered on behalf of FNUniv by the University of Regina.
Staff problems 
In January 2009, Shauneen Pete was dismissed from her position as Vice-President of Academics for what the University administration said was an internal personnel matter. On January 13, the FNUC Students' Association organized a rally in protest.
Two former employees of the institution have been charged with defrauding the university; as of October 2008, both matters are still before the courts.
In December 2009 the university's chief financial officer, Murray Westerlund, left his position. Westerlund said he was fired, but FNUniv's then-President Charles Pratt said the departure was mutually agreed upon. FNUniv officials also missed another series of deadlines to file various reports, which led the federal government to withhold $1.8 million in funding.
In January 2010, documents from November 2009 surfaced which showed that Westerlund had raised concerns about inappropriate spending. Westerlund filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against the university on December 17, 2009. The suit claims he was marginalized and then fired for writing the documents which criticized the spending practices of university officials. The provincial Minister of Advanced Education, Rob Norris, called for an emergency meeting with the University of Regina's board of governors to discuss the financial situation at the FNUniv. After the meeting on January 27, Norris hinted that the provincial government may cut off funding to the institution.
In March 2010, it was discovered that nearly $400,000 of the FNUniv's scholarship fund had been spent on general operations. The fund had dwindled from $390,000 in spring 2009 to just $15,000 in February 2010.
On March 19, 2010, Charles Pratt was terminated by the Interim Board of Governors, with cause, as President of FNUniv; he had previously been suspended with pay. Dr. Shauneen Pete, who had formerly been dismissed from a leadership post at FNUNiv, was appointed as President in April 2010
On June 9, 2011, Wesley Robert Stevenson, a former top official with FNUC, plead guilty to charges of fraud. Between January and March 2005 Stevenson spent $15000 from the Canadian Federal government (originally intended for a FNUC trip to Scotland) on a 'working holiday' for himself as well as other FNUC expenses. The CBC reported that Stevenson had already made full restitution before pleading guilty.
See also 
- Alfred Young Man, professor, curator, and department head of Indian Fine Arts
- First Nations University Students' Association
- Higher education in Saskatchewan
- The University of Regina Act.
- "Canada's first aboriginal-run university opens". CBC News. June 21, 2003. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
- Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, at the First Nations University of Canada, 2005
- First Nations University of Canada (17 May 2008). "100 per cent Vote in Favour of Urban Reserve Proposal". CNW Group. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
- SaskNetWork - Federated Colleges
- Mendelson, Michael; Alex Usher (2007-05-24). "The Aboriginal University Education Roundtable". University of Winnipeg. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- Aboriginal Bursaries Search Tool
- Birchard, Karen (May 4, 2007). "Canada's Only Aboriginal-Controlled University is Placed on Probation". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
- "First Nations University back in AUCC's good books". CBC News. 2008-04-02. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "University teachers group censures First Nations University of Canada". CBC News. 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- "Delegates to CAUT’s national Council vote unanimously to lift censure of First Nations University of Canada". Retrieved 2010-09-11.
- "Bailout helps First Nations University with 'acute financial situation'". CBC News. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Graham, Jennifer (2008-10-07). "Struggling First Nations University gets $1.6M from Saskatchewan government". Canadian Press. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- Warick, Jason (2009-02-28). "Gov't freezes FNUC funding". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2009-02-28.[dead link]
- Simcoe, Luke (2009-03-19). "Funding to flow again for FNUniv". The Leader-Post. Retrieved 2009-03-19.[dead link]
- "Ottawa withholds $2.4M from First Nations University". CBC News. June 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- Pinchin, Karen (June 26, 2009). "First Nations University says it's being "picked on"". Maclean's. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- Hall, Angela (February 3, 2010). "Province cuts off money to First Nations University". Regina Leader-Post. CanWest.
- "First Nations University board dissolved". CBC News. February 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "Province Withdraws Funds From Canada's Only Aboriginal University". The Chronicle of Higher Education. May 4, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-06.
- "FNUniv loses federal funding". Regina Leader-Post. CanWest. February 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- "Ottawa cuts funding to First Nations University". CBC News (CBC News). February 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- "Chronicle of Higher Education". 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- Graham, Jennifer (2010-05-02). "Troubled First Nations University gets $4-million lifeline from Ottawa". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 2010-09-11.
- "First Nations University dismisses top official". CBC News. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2009-01-08.
- "First Nations University students upset over firing of top official". CBC News. 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- "FNUniv students voice frustrations". The Leader-Post. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-01-28.[dead link]
- "More fraud charges at First Nations University". CBC News. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- "First Nations University loses chief financial officer". CBC News. December 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
- Warick, Jason (December 6, 2009). "FNUC misses reporting deadlines". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
- "Minister calls for emergency meeting on First Nations University". CBC News. January 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
- Warick, Jason (January 22, 2010). "Ex-CFO sues FNUC". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- Maclean, Rory (January 25, 2010). "FNUC allegations 'disturb' Norris". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Sask. may cut funding to First Nations University". CBC News. January 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-2008.
- Wood, James; Jason Warick (March 8, 2010). "Nearly $400,000 from FNUC scholarship fund used by former administration". The StarPhoenix. CanWest. Retrieved 2010-03-09.[dead link]
- Benjoe, K (April 5, 2010). "Shauneen Pete begins six-month term as FNUniv president". Leader-Post.
- "Former FNUC official pleads guilty to fraud". CBC News. June 9, 2011.
- "Alfred Young Man, PhD." University of Lethbridge: People. (retrieved 9 Dec 2010)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: First Nations University of Canada|
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