100 per cent Vote in Favour of Urban Reserve Proposal


    LEBRET, SK, May 17 /CNW/ - In a recent referendum by the Star Blanket
Cree Nation (SBCN), band members unanimously supported in favour of the
proposal to acquire 32.5 acres of land for the First Nations University of
Canada as part of its Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) settlement, Chief Irvin
Starblanket announced.
    "This is an exciting development for the Star Blanket Cree Nation and the
First Nations University of Canada," said Starblanket.
    He put the turnout of votes at over 50 per cent with 177 votes cast
altogether.
    "We're overwhelmed with the news that all the ballots were marked yes,"
said Starblanket. "We're pleased our band membership recognizes the value and
importance of this proposal -- their support represents a unified vision by
our membership to providing a permanent on-reserve home for the First Nations
University of Canada with the foresight that it will benefit First Nations
people and the community as a whole."
    Under its Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement with the federal
and provincial government, Star Blanket Cree Nation is seeking reserve status
for the land at 1 First Nations Way, the location of the First Nations
University of Canada - Regina Campus. The property is located within Wascana
Centre Authority, and is presently owned by First Nations University of Canada
Inc., and shares infrastructure with the University of Regina.
    "It's been a lengthy process, but now we're one step closer to making
history," said Al Ducharme, FNUniv's Vice President of Finance and
Administration. "This referendum represents one of the last major steps for
our University to becoming Canada's first post-secondary institution situated
on reserve land."
    In 1992, the SBCN land was settled under the Framework Agreement, which
was signed by Canada, Saskatchewan and 25 TLE First Nations in Saskatchewan.

    The mission of the First Nations University of Canada is to enhance the
quality of life, and to preserve, protect, and interpret the history,
language, culture, and artistic heritage of First Nations.



For further information: Tina Pelletier, Office of Communications,
Direct: (306) 790-5950 ext. 2600, Cellular: (306) 530-9228,
tpelletier@firstnationsuniversity.ca; Cliff Starr, Chairman, Starblanket Cree
Nation TLE Committee, Star Blanket Cree Nation, Cellular: (306) 535-9463