Is the sign nigh?


Article: Adam Gamble – Contributor

source: Adam Gamble

Surely, the university could spare one of the several dozen of these bastards they have kicking around for the FNUniv /source: Adam Gamble

First Nations University of Canada still lacks its own sign

Approaching the University of Regina on the Ring Road, you might notice the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) — if you know about it. If not, you might see a building with a teepee built into it, nestled between a stone U of R sign, and a patch of evergreen trees.

From 1976 to 2003, FNUniv was known as the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC). There, classes were first taught in a portable trailer. On June 21, 2003, SIFC became FNUniv, however, it has never had its own sign.

FNUniv is the only federated college of the U of R, Campion and Luther Colleges are the others, that does not have its own sign. Though, behind FNUniv there is a stone U of R sign.

According to U of R Vice President Thomas Chase, “the sign behind FNUniv represents the entire University of Regina campus.”

Nonetheless, why does FNUniv stand alone?

Neil Paskewitz, Director of Planning, Design & Construction at the U of R noted, “the stone sign behind FNUniv, along with the other stone signs around the University of Regina campus, were built in 1976 as a way to mark the University’s name being changed from the University of Saskatchewan – Regina Campus, to the University of Regina in 1974.” Coincidence or not, the sign has never been relocated.

When FNUniv began construction in 2002, Professor of Indigenous Studies Dr. Blair Stonechild was a member of the university’s planning committee.

Reflecting on his service, Stonechild stated, “financial cutbacks were most likely the reason why a sign was not built.”

This may not be the only reason and there is a procedure in place to permit FNUniv to have signage.

Bernadette McIntyre, Wascana Centre Authority CEO since 2008 outlined the procedure, “all institutions that fall under the jurisdiction of the Wascana Centre Authority must create a proposal in writing, and have it signed by the appropriate parties in agreement with its concept. [From there, the] design drawings are submitted for architectural and engineering approval, and then a final recommendation is submitted to Wascana Centre Authority’s Board of Directors for approval. Construction starts after that,” explained McIntyre.

Because FNUniv is a federated college of the U of R, their approval would be required. In addition, since FNUniv is situated on the land of the Star Blanket First Nation, their approval would also be required.

“FNUniv has spoken with the Wascana Centre Authority two to three times over the past three to four years in regards to having their own sign, however, have never submitted a proposal,” mentioned McIntyre.

It is unknown what steps were taken during the pre-construction stage of FNUniv to secure signage. According to McIntrye, this is due to “no records of communication with FNUniv.”

Regardless of the reasons why FNUniv does not have its own sign, Rocelle Kooy, Director of Communications at FNUniv, said the culturally important university deserves one. Undoubtedly, signage would bring recognition to FNUniv, and is overdue, as its 10th anniversary — June 21, 2013 — has passed.

This past June, Kooy mentioned that the university “would like to have its own sign by the time students return to study in the fall.” Yet, uncertainty persists, as the first day of classes has passed, and FNUniv continues to lack signage.


Comments are closed.