Canadian academics are no longer being encouraged to boycott First Nations University, after the Canadian Association of University Teachers lifted its censure Friday Morning. Delegates to a national meeting of CAUT voted unanimously to lift its censure against the institution that was imposed 17 months ago. CAUT initially censured the institution due to a failure to implement governance reforms, and because of ongoing threats to academic freedom.
Over the past two months, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations has made what CAUT says are “enormous changes that have addressed concerns about the university’s governance structure.”
Before the reforms were implemented, both the provincial and federal governments pulled financial support for FNuniv. The province eventually restored its portion of the funding after the university entered into an agreement with the University of Regina, that would see the latter oversee FNuniv’s finances. The federal government has yet to announce it will restore its funding, but has provided FNuniv with $3 million so that students currently registered may complete the academic year in August.
CAUT says it is imperative that the federal government reinstate grants for the university. “We were once one of the loudest voices in the country when it came to demanding changes at the institution — those changes have been made, so we’ve lifted censure, and it is time for the federal government to do its part,” executive director James Turk said.