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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 

The Harper Government MUST Reinstate Funding To The First Nations University Of Canada

Saskatchewan has 60,000 First Nations and Metis youth enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes throughout the province. That represents fully 6% of Saskatchewan's population. Without a doubt, economic disparity continues to exist for Saskatchewan's Aboriginal citizens. One thing that works to make a difference and bridge the gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people is education.

Saskatchewan is home to the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC). Thousands of Aboriginal students have graduated with degrees from this institution. Many people probably don't know that hundreds of Aboriginal people from Central and South America have also attended the FNUC, bringing relevant education back to their home countries.

The Harper government recently cut it's funding to the First Nations University of Canada claiming disagreement with governance issues at the FNUC. The province of Saskatchewan had also asked for and received satisfactory action on the local governance issues and has reinstated provincial funding. Harper, however, will not move to reinstate federal funding.

The total amount of federal funds previously allocated to FNUC is $7.2 million - just a drop in the bucket of total federal contributions for education.

The Harper administration has billions of stimulation tax dollars for banks, car companies and other corporate welfare bums but they don't have a small amount for aboriginal post secondary education.

Right wing ideology in Canada reeks of subtle racism - based on archaic concepts of 'unfettered free markets' ... blah blah blah!

If the Harper regime does not immediately reinstate funding for the First Nations University of Canada, then they should be labeled as short sighted, mean spirited and out of touch with the reality of being Aboriginal in Canada.

It is becoming very clear that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's apology to First Nations people in June, 2008 was hollow and phony. It is time for the Conservative government to put 'our' money where 'their' mouths are!

-Statement by Chuck Strahl On First Nations University of Canada


-Federal Gov't coughs up at least enough money for students to finish year ....

Photo courtesy CBC ....

I didn't know that the SK government had reviewed the governance problems and determined they'd been resolved. If Harper wants to conduct his own investigation, fine; but to cut the funding with no way to get it back -- it may not be racism (it could be argued just as easily that it's classist), but it's certainly bullshit.

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