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First Nations University Budget Balanced; Former Student Prez Convicted of Fraud

First Nations University of Canada (FNUC), on the brink of closure last year, now has a balanced budget; meanwhile, former student council president Blue Pelletier was convicted of fraud and theft over $30,000 in misappropriated funds.
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A former student council president at First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) has been convicted for stealing about $30,000 in funds earmarked for the student body.

Blue Pelletier, who attended the Saskatoon branch of FNUC, was found guilty of fraud and theft, CBC News reported on July 25. The 31-year-old Pelletier wrote checks to himself between August 2006 and February 2007, CBC News said. Though he was ostensibly going to pay council bills with the money, he never documented where it went.

This is the second allegation of wrongdoing on the part of school personnel at FNUC, though the two were not connected. In June, former vice president of finance and adminstration Wesley Robert Stevenson pleaded guilty to taking $15,000 in school-trip funds and spending it instead on himself.

Between that and other financial irregularities, the Regina-based school nearly lost its funding and was saved by a last-ditch infusion from the provincial and federal governments.

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Now the school's fortunes are turning. It has a new president, Doyle Anderson, scheduled to step in officially as of August 2. Its budget is also balanced for the first time in seven years, board chair Della Anaquod told delegates at a recent meeting of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. She also told them, according to The Star Phoenix, that the school received a clean audit and is beginning to make long-term plans. Enrollment is at 700 full-timers, with 1,700 taking classes altogether, the newspaper said.

"We're back on track," she said, according to The Star Phoenix.