atim kâ-mihkosit urban reserve all about education
- EFN Staff | February 14, 2019
The First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) sits on a newly recognized urban reserve of Star Blanket Cree Nation after almost 20 years of negotiations and hard work by various parties. On February 13th, Regina’s FNUniv Campus held a signing ceremony where dignitaries and community members gathered to witness a historic event.
Star Blanket Cree Nation Chief Michael Starr along with other signatories signed documents that completed the process that began in 2002.
“It means so much. The journey’s been so long but the journey’s been very educational,” said Chief Starr. “It felt a sense of accomplishment for all our nations.”
Leaders and dignitaries carried in the flag staff and walked in a grand entry with singers from Star Blanket Cree Nation called Red Dog Singers who kicked off the event. FNUniv President Mark Dockstator was the Master of Ceremonies who introduced all the valuable guest speakers. Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan gifted Chief Starr with a picture to commemorate the historic day and the efforts of making the territory urban reserve land.
“It’s a tremendous significance not only here in Saskatchewan but right across the country as an Indigenous university that is run by Indigenous people themselves and the only one on reserve land,” said Minister O’Regan. “It means a lot to people.”
The urban reserve was named atim kâ-mihkosit which translates to red dog after a former Chief of Star Blanket Cree Nation. The process started in 2002 and the reserve was officially recognized by the federal government on September 17th 2018. Star Blanket was the second First Nation selected in the Urban Reserve creation process. This agreement was negotiated between several parties including Star Blanket Cree Nation, FNUniv, U of R, the Provincial Government and Federal government, City of Regina and a representative from CIBC. The atim kâ-mihkosit reserve encompasses 32.05 acres surrounding FNUniv. Both Star Blanket Cree Nation and FNUniv are looking forward to what comes next.
“Working with [FNUniv we’re] possibly looking at some economic development into the future,” said Chief Starr. “But that work has to be together. We will work together in a good way to find those solutions to help our people.”
The FNUniv institution was gifted with a headdress of the last hereditary chief named Red Dog. It will be kept on display within the university to honour the gift. Star blankets were also gifted to the dignitaries who helped make the signing ceremony a success. A community feast ended the signing ceremony.