Students Call for Action on National Aboriginal Day

Protecting the Home of Treaty Education Must be a National Priority

OTTAWA, June 21 /CNW Telbec/ - To mark National Aboriginal Day, students and community members are holding events across Canada to demand that the federal government restore long-term funding to First Nations University.

"As we celebrate the contribution of Aboriginal peoples to Canada, the future of First Nations University hangs in the balance," said Cassandra Opikokew, Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Across the country students are standing up and demanding that the federal government commit to sustained, long-term funding for First Nations University."

First Nations University has been a leader in Indigenous education for over 30 years. It was created to serve as the home of treaty education and a model for First Nations-controlled institutions. Following a dispute over the University's management, the federal and Saskatchewan governments cut their funding in February 2010. Despite institutional restructuring and the government of Saskatchewan restoring funding, the federal government has refused to commit to funding the institution beyond March 2011.

"Funding Aboriginal education is an essential part of the pact that Canada has with Indigenous peoples," added David Molenhuis, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "The federal government needs to live up to its responsibilities."

Founded in 1981, the Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organization, uniting over one-half million students from all ten provinces. The National Aboriginal Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students is the national voice of Aboriginal students at universities and colleges in Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Cassandra Opikokew, National Aboriginal Caucus Chairperson, 306.537.2043 (cellular); David Molenhuis, National Chairperson, 613.232.7394 (office)

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