LITTLE BLACK BEAR FIRST NATION, SK, May 6 /CNW/ - Perry Bellegarde, Chief of the Little Black Bear First Nation is urging the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada and the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs to restore the remaining $4.2 million to the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv). Chief Bellegarde asserts that, since February 8, 2010 when Minister Strahl ended funding to the FNUniv citing "systemic problems related to the governance and financial management," stakeholders have taken swift action to meet both the Federal and Provincial governments' demands and restore their faith in the integrity of the University.
"And they have been successful as evidenced by the fact that the Provincial government restored $5.2 million in funding on March 23rd and Minister Strahl approved $3 million in ISSP funding on April 29th," stated Bellegarde. These decisions were made in large part due to an Administrative Services Contract between the University of Regina and the FNUniv giving the U of R administrative oversight. "The full restoration of funding from the federal government is necessary for the long term sustainability of the First Nations University," said Bellegarde, "So the only way for the First Nations University of Canada to truly survive is for the federal government to restore the remaining $4.2 million. And now is the time for them to do so."
"Some 700 full-time students, 1200 part-time and other students, 65 faculty and 150 staff members need certainty at this time of year when students register for post-secondary education," stated Bellegarde, "They need Prime Minister Harper and Minister Chuck Strahl to take swift action and restore their faith in the integrity of the Federal government."
Chief Perry Bellegarde maintains a strong belief in processes that unite rather than divide and acknowledges the partnership between the First Nations University of Canada, the University of Regina and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the leaders of which have acted in good faith to ensure that the necessary governance, financial management and administrative reforms have been undertaken. Bellegarde continued, "FNUniv President Shauneen Pete, University of Regina President, Vianne Timmons and FSIN Chief Guy Lonechild are to be commended for their perseverance, integrity and unwavering commitment."
Chief Perry Bellegarde has spent his entire adult life in service of First Nations people through elected positions at all levels including: Chief and Councillor for the Little Black Bear First Nation in Saskatchewan, Representative and Chairman of the Touchwood-File Hills-Qu'Appelle Tribal Council, Grand Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and Saskatchewan Regional Vice Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
SOURCE CHIEF PERRY BELLEGARDE LITTLE BLACK BEAR FIRST NATION
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