REGINA, Sept. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde is attending the First Nations University of Canada's (FNUniv) 40th Anniversary Celebrations today in Regina, Saskatchewan. National Chief Bellegarde will deliver a lecture on his vision of reconciliation and the place of First Nations knowledge traditions in higher education.
"I am honoured to be here to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the First Nations University of Canada and its groundbreaking role in championing the knowledge of our Elders. Our world view is as old as human memory and is a national treasure that should be shared with all Canadians," said National Chief Bellegarde. "Many of our youth today walk proudly in both worlds. Education is essential to ensuring they have knowledge to succeed in their careers and knowledge of who they are as First Nations people. Education is essential to reconciliation, and First Nations University of Canada is playing a vital role in this work. We need more institutions like First Nations University of Canada to keep our cultures and traditions alive."
AFN National Chief Bellegarde's lecture, Forward Together, will explore the journey that has brought First Nations and Canada to the cusp of great change and the challenges facing the country in realizing that change. These challenges include ensuring everyone has access to a quality education that is reflective of First Nations values and contributions and addressing the significant gap in the quality of life between First Nations and the rest of Canada.
AFN Saskatchewan Regional Chief Bobby Cameron stated: "Over the past 40 years the First Nations University has undergone a tremendous transformation from the days of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College to what is now: a nationally recognized university. The one thing that has remained consistent is the school's commitment to higher learning. When our people entered into Treaty they understood the importance of education. The First Nations University of Canada plays an integral role in educating students about our Inherent, Treaty and Indigenous rights and the importance of recovering and revitalizing Indigenous language, knowledge and worldviews."
FNUniv's 40th Anniversary Celebrations are open to media and the public, including National Chief Bellegarde Forward Together Lecture to be delivered this evening. The FNUniv Lecture will be held at the First Nations University of Canada, 1 First Nations Way in Regina, Saskatchewan from 7:00-8:30pm local time.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
For further information: Jenn Jefferys, Communications Officer, +1 613-222-9656, [email protected]