Watson Attempts To Clear The Air

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 at 13:28



The chair of the board at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina believes the institution’s tarnished image will eventually be restored.


Morley Watson, who also serves as a vice chief with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, says he and the board were placed in a tough position when they obtained information a few months ago that indicated the presence of spending irregularities at the school.


A number of high-ranking officials at the university were suspended, pending an investigation into the affair.


One of them, Wes Stevenson, was eventually dismissed.


Stevenson denies any wrongdoing and is promising to seek legal action.


Watson says by seeking legal advice first, he and the board followed proper protocol in handling the situation.


Watson has been criticized for his handling of the matter, but argues he and the board would have faced criticism had they not acted on the allegations.


There have also been reports that the school is $3 million in debt and may not be able to meet its financial obligations as early as next month.


Watson says he can’t say what sacrifices will have to be made to get the university’s finances back on track.


He says a report on what needs to be done will be delivered to the rest of the university’s board in the near future.


Watson says he has no doubt that various levels of government will restore funding to the school once they see the institution’s tighter controls on spending.