Saving First Nations University

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In 2010, the First Nations University of Canada was facing the loss of both provincial and federal  funding because of internal management and governance issues. While leadership on both sides continued to go back and forth, students decided they would not stand and watch their beloved institution collapse.  Students and other supporters rallied in several locations, and finally on March 23rd, 2010, gathered in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature to announce a ‘live in’.

Later that day, students started living on the FNUniv campuses in Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert. They wanted to have their voices heard, demonstrate their fierce loyalty to FNUniv, and demand their treaty right to education.

By the end of March, governments agreed to restore some of the money to keep the university going until the end of August, which would allow students could complete their courses.  Since then, the university has continued to rebuild and look toward the future.

That is also the case for those who were demonstrated and pushed to save the university.  I caught up with some of the people involved to get their perspective on those events and what they would like to see in the future.

by Kristy Stonechild