Remains in role until June 2019
REGINA, March 4, 2019 /CNW/ - Dr. Mark Dockstator, President of First Nations University of Canada (FNUC), today confirmed that he will not seek renewal of his term which is set to expire in June 2019. Dockstator cited the university's achievements of the past five years, including record enrollment, strong financial position, and solidified position as a national leader in Indigenous education. Significantly, FNUC recently received Reserve designation, a milestone achievement in the proud history of Canada's first and only First Nations university.
"President Dockstator made a five-year commitment to the University and we respect his decision," says Loretta Pete, Vice Chair of the university's board of governors. "His role and function was to transform the University from a troubled institution five years ago into a nationally recognized leader in Indigenous education. He has done that and we are grateful."
Dr. Dockstator will continue as President until the end of his term and the university will initiate a search immediately.
President Dockstator released the following statement to university staff today:
"Following the recent signing ceremony to celebrate Reserve Creation, my wife Jennifer and I were reflecting on the great success that the University has become. The signing ceremony, which was such a tremendous event that celebrated the success of the Star Blanket community and the University, was indeed historic. It may seem normal now, but five years ago it would have been difficult to attract such a wide range of leadership to support and promote the success of the University…including two federal ministers, the national AFN Chief, FSIN and Tribal Council leadership in combination with provincial, municipal, banking and UofR leaders all coming together with community members, our past and present Board members, Elders, faculty, staff and students….all gathered together at First Nations University in celebration. We have indeed come a long way over the last five years.
"That morning at the pipe ceremony, where our Board Elder William Ratfoot honoured Minister Goodale, it reminded me of my beginning with the University five years ago, where I started my tenure with a pipe ceremony and was honoured by the Elders. In many ways, it seemed a natural conclusion to the cycle of time that Jennifer and I have spent here at the University. We began with Ceremony and we end with Ceremony. It was during this time, which represents for us the pinnacle of success, achievement, and celebration for the University and surrounded by Ceremony, that we decided it was time to hand over the reins of leadership for the University, knowing that we have achieved all we set out to accomplish over the past five years.
"It is with a great sense of pride and accomplishment that we look back over the last five years and marvel at the incredible success that the University has become. With record student enrollments, strong financial situation, solid reputation as a national leader in Indigenous education, and the incredible array of programs, activities, and events undertaken throughout the University by such a dedicated core of faculty and staff, the University has never been stronger. It is a good time to pass on this incredibly vibrant University with unlimited potential to the next leader who can build on this solid foundation of achievement in order to reach ever higher levels.
"In summary, Jennifer and I are moving onto the next adventure. As you know, my term here at the University ends this summer. I have previously informed the Board Executive of this decision, and we are working together on succession planning. With our departure from the University, we would like to thank all those who have made our life here at First Nations University such a pleasure.
"There are, of course, many others to thank and we will, over the next few months, attempt to do so in person. At this point, however, I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the true leaders of the University, the Elders, Elders Council (Kêhtê-ayak) and the Board of Governors, both past and present. Without their collective guidance and leadership the University would surely be adrift. In particular, I would like to extend my thanks to the past Board and its Chairman David Sharpe, who collectively established a strong foundation for the University to thrive in the last five years. To the current Board and Chair Yvette Arcand, Vice Chair Loretta Pete Lambert, Dr. Ken Coates, Ruby Sinclair, Bernadine Walkingbear, Dr. Tom Dignan, Lori-Ann Daniels, Dr. Alika Lafontaine and Edward Mirasty, your strong leadership, guidance and dedication has resulted in a thriving University that has never been stronger. Many thanks to all for your strong leadership over the years.
"It has been a wonderful and rewarding experience in every way. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you."
SOURCE First Nations University of Canada
For further information: First Nations University of Canada: Leila Francis, Secretary to the Board of Governors, Phone: (306) 790-5950 ext 2100