First Nations University of Canada

First Nations University of Canada, Regina.
University of Regina, Photography Department

The First Nations University of Canada began as the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) in 1976, with an agreement between SIFC and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN). This agreement initiated the independently administered university college, whose mandate serves the academic and cultural needs of First Nations students. Enrolment in campuses at Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert grew steadily over the years, and it became apparent that a larger facility was needed. Construction of the First Nations University of Canada was subsequently initiated in the spring of 2001, and the University was officially opened on June 21, 2003, coinciding with Canada's National Aboriginal Day. Designed by architect Douglas J. Cardinal, it is the first accredited First Nations university in North America. In 2004, approximately 2,000 students were enrolled, 400-500 of them on a full-time basis. With over 2,500 alumni, the university is host to a number of departments, including the School of Business and Public Administration and the National School of Dental Therapy, as well as various programs in education, social work, science, and languages, all taught with special reference to the First Nations perspective.

Lauren Black