40th Anniversary Celebrations

pimâtisiwin: Our Teachings, Our Future

40th Anniversary Celebrations

Join students, staff, and alumni as we celebrate 40 years of Indigenous Education. This year, marks 40 years since the creation of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College. Today, we know it as the First Nations University of Canada.

We will celebrate our success, perseverance, and most importantly our communities. This four-day celebration features a number of public events, including opportunities for the general public to come and visit the university and all it has to offer, as well as take part in cultural events.

Festivities begin on Friday, September 9th with a Feast, Round Dance, and Give Away. All members of the public are welcome to take part, as well as tour our various public displays.

Saturday, Alumni will gather to relive their university days and reconnect with academic colleagues now spread across the country and around the world.

On Sunday, September 11th, we invite the public to take part in pimâtisiwin: Our Teachings, Our Future Inaugural Elders Conference and Children and Family events. These events will focus on all the great things our Indigenous institution has to offer and help connect all families in our community with our teachings.

Then Monday, please mark your calendars and join us for a Capital Campaign Project announcement. This event will be held in the atrium, on Monday, September 12th, 2016 at 11:00am. This announcement will look forward to the next 40 years, the contributions we will make, and how we will shape education and teachings.


40th Anniversary Celebrations Sponsors

40 Years of Indigenous Education

​The Indian Communications Arts program at First Nations University developed 40 Years of Indigenous Education. A website that tells the stories of graduates of First Nations University. http://fnuniv40.com

Public Events

Friday, September 9, 2016

8:00AM Pipe Ceremony

4:00PM Feast

6:00PM - 11:00PM Round Dance and Give Away

Sunday September 11, 2016

8:00AM Pipe Ceremony

pimâtisiwin: Our Teachings - Inaugural Elders Conference

1:00–1:05 Introduction – Dr. Mark S. Dockstator
1:05–1:20 Keynote Address – Willie Ermine

Session One:
1:30–2:30 Margaret Reynolds Room 2002
Introduction to the Sacred Circle (Medicine Wheel)
• Elder, FNUniv Board of Governor - English River First Nation

1:30–2:30 Mary Lee & Gilbert Kewistep Room 2000
The Importance of Teachings, Ceremonies and Elders in the Workforce and Community
Mary Lee, Elder, FNUniv Saskatoon Campus; Cree, Chitek Lake
Gilbert Kewistep, Elder and Sessional, FNUniv Saskatoon Campus, Yellowquill First Nation

1:30–2:30 Florence Allen Room 2003
Water (Forever Life)
• Elder, FNUniv Prince Albert Campus, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation

1:30–2:30 Rose Bird & Preston Gardypie Room 1010
Spiritual Ceremonies & Protocols
Rose Bird, Elder, FNUniv Prince Albert Campus, Thunderchild First Nation
Preston Gardypie, Oskapewis, FNUniv Prince Albert Campus, Beardy’s First Nation

1:30–2:30 Willie Ermine Room 1012
How to Work With Spirit
• Faculty, FNUniv Prince Albert Campus – Sturgeon Lake First Nation

2:30–2:45 Break

Session Two:
2:45–3:45 Noel Starblanket Room 2002
• Elder, Star Blanket First Nation

2:45–3:45 Blair Stonechild Room 2000
Decolonizing Indigenous Spirituality
• FNUniv faculty, Muscowpetung First Nation

2:45–3:45 Harold Lavallee & Science Faculty Room 2065
Mother Earth Healing Plants
• Elder, Piapot First Nation

2:45–3:45 Audrey Cochrane Room 1010
Life on a Reserve 60 years ago
• FNUniv Elder, Regina Campus, Keeseekoose First Nation

2:45–3:45 Sylvia Obey Room 1012
Female Roles in Sacred Places
• FNUniv Elder, Regina Campus, Piapot First Nation2:00PM – 5:00PM pimâtisiwin: Our Future - Children/Family Event

2:00PM – 5:00PM pimâtisiwin: Our Future - Children/Family Event

Monday, September 12, 2016

8:00AM - 9:00AM Pipe Ceremony

9:00AM - 11:00AM Confirmed Speakers:

  • David Sharpe, Chair First Nations University of Canada Board of Governors
  • Dena McMartin, Associate Vice President (Academic and Research) University of Regina
  • Chief Michael Starr, Star Blanket Cree Nation
  • Chief Bobby Cameron, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
  • The Honourable Vaughn Solomon-Schofield, Lieutenant Governor
  • Honourable Bronwyn Eyre, Minister of Advanced Education Saskatchewan
  • Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness
  • Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
  • National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations

11:00AM – 11:15AM The Next 40 Years: Capital Campaign Announcement

11:15AM – 11:45AM Media Availability

12:00PM – 4:00PM Tony Cote Welcome Back Student Powwow

4:00PM – 7:00PM Community Feast and Give Away

7:00PM – 8:30PM Forward Together Lecture – Keynote Speaker Assembly of First Nations

National Chief Perry Bellegarde



Federation of Saskatchewan Indians (Today the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations) launched a taskforce on Education which produced a two volume report.


The Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) opened on the University of Regina campus. Ida Wasacase was the first director of the Federated College.

September, 1976 - SIFC opens with 9 students and offered classes in Indian studies, Indian Languages, Social Work, Fine Arts, Social Sciences, and the Indian Teacher Education. The first professor hired was Dr. Blair Stonechild, who remains a professor in the Indigenous Studies department today.


Ida Wasacase starts the First Nation University of Canada Powwow to lift the spirit of students wrapping up the winter semester.


SIFC was voted a full member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.


The current home of the First Nations University of Canada in Regina officially opens. It was designed by architect, Douglas Cardinal.

June 21, 2003 – The name of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College is officially changed to the First Nations University of Canada.


June, 2008, the university officially opened the Veterans Memorial Tipi. The large glass tipi surrounds the atrium and commemorates the sacrifices of First Nations veterans in Canada’s war efforts.


The university enters a period of increasing financial stability and steady enrollment growth.


The university celebrates 40 years of Indigenous Education and Indian Control of Indian Education first set out in the 1970s.