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Three-year funding focuses on Indigenous students' well-being

The investment will help a variety of programs
School classroom/Shutterstock

The provincial government is spending $17 million in the next three years to support Indigenous students' safety and well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario is also providing First Nation schools with personal protective equipment so they can safely reopen in their communities, with no cost attached, according to the news release.

"We appreciate the Government of Ontario's continued support of the work done by our partners to assist our students who have to leave their communities and attend urban centers to achieve their high school diploma," Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox said in a statement. "As we continue to address the long-standing systemic issues our students face, we look forward to a positive productive relationship with the province."

The funding will provide more academic and tutoring support to students from Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and Indigenous students from remote northern communities and will allow hiring dedicated transition staff like education system navigators, transition co-ordinators and teacher coaches.

The investment will provide land-based and Elder programming for First Nation students who attend high schools in urban centres and who may need access to traditional and cultural supports while they’re away from their home communities.

According to the news release, the funding will enable the Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) to increase access to culturally-appropriate supports and resources for Inuit students. The program will also promote the Inuit language and explore how it can be implemented within the provincial education system as well as through services in the Ottawa area.

In addition, the allocated money will advance recommendations from the Seven Youth Inquest that includes providing training and support for boarding home parents, so that students can learn in a safe environment while they’re away from their homes.

Métis students will also have access to an alternative, "culturally-rich" learning program, created and promoted through the Limestone District School Board’s River Program. The media release states students will be able to take part in ceremonies and other traditional activities, and they will receive ongoing support from local Elders and knowledge keepers.

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Dariya Baiguzhiyeva

About the Author: Dariya Baiguzhiyeva

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering diversity issues for TimminsToday. The LJI is funded by the Government of Canada
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