Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A note to First Nations...

FNUC Funding Frustration | News Talk 650 CKOM

I know that this is going to sound like I'm a condescending jerk but hear me out...

It's great that you want to get educated, and it's great that you have the same goal as most others - that being to become productive members of society. But I thought that over the past 200 years of dealing with governments and the crown you would have learned one fundamental truth:


Seriously. It took them several years and someone with backbone to put a stop to the financial mismanagement at FNUC by giving real consequences to the actions being taken. Did you HONESTLY think that all you had to do was wave a magic wand, say "we'll stop and let the U of R manage the finances", and the money tap would be restored? Sorry guys, it doesn't quite work like that.

The idea is good. Become a federated college of the University. They accredit your degrees anyways, so it's not that big of a leap. But the decision that you made to do this was only the first step in a process that will go at a snails pace. First comes the memo of understanding, then comes discussions and approvals and more discussions and more approvals. A system has to be put into place to ensure that you are getting all the funds to operate that you are supposed to be getting, and provisions have to be made so that those systems are accountable to you the People as much as they are to we the people. Only then will the taps be reopened and money flowing again. At some point along the way, there will be an agreement in principle to say how much money is flowing, but it won't be at the start of the process.

Now here's what you need to do to make sure the process goes smoothly. You need to cooperate and negotiate in good faith. You need to stop calling the rest of society racists just because we want some accountability for the money we're putting into your institutions. I know that is just a small portion of your people that are doing this, but it's really starting to galvanize the public against your point of view. Finally, you need to help the government get their process done without creating any problems - this is the fastest way to restored funding.

If you can do that, then I have no doubt you will continue to have your own university come September. If you can't, well, I hope FSIN has some extra money to throw into the university... it'll be tough sledding without it.

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