Clarification statement: Indigenous Studies
March 26, 2021 - The current financial crisis at Laurentian University has placed the University of Sudbury, including its Indigenous Studies program, in a very uncertain and fragile position. Along with the rest of the university community, we await greater clarity from Laurentian in April regarding the future of such programming as well as the future of the federated universities themselves. Termination of the federation has been cited as a real possibility by Laurentian president Dr. Robert Haché in his publicly available affidavit.
To respond to this unprecedented challenge, the University of Sudbury recently announced that its Board of Regents has decided to make its two charters available to its two long-standing communities - Francophone and Indigenous - to help provide education by and for these communities. The Francophone community’s request to develop a fully Francophone university has been accepted by the Board of Regents, and we are currently in discussion with Indigenous communities regarding the use of the other charter.
We are reaching out to these communities, government and other stakeholders to advocate for the continuance of these programs. Founded in 1975, our Indigenous Studies program is one of the first in Canada and has educated generations of community leaders.
In this context, it is important to clarify that the University of Sudbury has not made any decision to cut or close the Indigenous Studies program. Nor has it decided to leave or seek termination of the Laurentian federation.
In these exceptional times of uncertainty, the University of Sudbury is pursuing all possible options with Indigenous communities, stakeholders and partners regarding the future of our Indigenous Studies program.
Due to the current financial crisis at Laurentian, the Indigenous Studies program is in an extremely uncertain and vulnerable position, and we urge community members to express their views to their community, political and other leaders who can help ensure the continuance of this important program. Messages of support may also be posted on our social media in order to call attention to this critical and urgent matter.