September 23, 2023

Meta Education

For Better Education

Elsipogtog First Nation Neighborhood Faculty hosts grand opening

Elsipogtog First Nation Neighborhood Faculty hosts grand opening

For Jordin Tootoo, a neighborhood go to places his concentrate on the youngsters.

The previous NHL participant was in Elsipogtog on Tuesday for the grand opening of the Elsipogtog First Nation Neighborhood Faculty.

What he noticed was kids in every single place, operating previous Indigenous artwork and timber patterned on the partitions, and enjoying on playgrounds painted within the colors of the drugs wheel. 

WATCH | ‘State-of-the-art’ faculty opens its doorways

Jordin Tootoo spoke to the neighborhood on Nationwide Indigenous Peoples Day.

“After I have a look at the group once I’m doing my neighborhood go to one of many first issues I do is watch the younger children as a result of that was me,” Tootoo stated.

“Generally, seeing numerous these children suppose they haven’t any hope and no future, it permits somebody of their very own to indicate them something’s potential if you’re employed exhausting, in case you sacrifice, in case you are assured and content material in your individual pores and skin, the sky is the restrict.”

His message got here on Nationwide Indigenous Peoples Day, because the neighborhood in northeast New Brunswick celebrated a brand new faculty for its 380 college students.

The college follows the New Brunswick curriculum, however Mi’kmaw tradition is integrated into each topic, its principal Melissa Googoo Dedam stated.

Melissa Googoo Dedam, princpal of Elsipogtog First Nation Community School, stands smiling in the school auditorium in front of a stage and podium that says Elsipogtog School.
Melissa Googoo Dedam is the principal of Elsipogtog First Nation Neighborhood Faculty. (Alexandre Silberman/CBC)

Elders are available in to supply conventional data, and the college students have the chance to study on the land, similar to their ancestors, within the surrounding forest. 

“Even when meaning going out and studying a e-book within the timber, it may be so simple as that,” Googoo Dedam stated. 

Whereas session began a very long time in the past for the brand new faculty, the challenge actually acquired off the bottom in 2019 and the varsity was prepared for college kids final fall. 

A few years in the past, kids did have a Mi’kmaw language immersion program, but it surely wasn’t supplied in recent times.

Googoo Dedam stated the opening of the brand new faculty appeared like a great time to deliver it again. 

The youthful college students have full Mi’kmaw language immersion. Lecturers fluent within the language spend the complete day talking to them in Mi’kmaq, and older college students have the choice of constant to study the language. 

The immersion program will proceed rising, Googoo Dedam stated, with five-year-old college students coming again within the fall persevering with within the intensive immersion program. 

Shayleen Maire Ginnish hopes her four-year-old daughter will study the Mi’kmaq language when she begins kindergarten on the faculty this fall. (Raechel Huizinga/CBC)

Shayleen Maire Ginnish is hoping her four-year-old daughter, who’s beginning kindergarten on the faculty within the fall, will study the language. 

“It may assist her improve extra of her tradition. I used to talk Mi’kmaq, however I went to English faculty and I misplaced it, so now it offers her the chance to talk it as properly and perceive it.”

‘When the children want a service, we have now it right here.’

Ivan Augustine, Elsipogtog First Nation Training Authority’s training director, stated given Canada’s historical past with residential faculties and Indian day faculties, the brand new faculty must be a spot for the entire neighborhood, particularly dad and mom.

“Residential faculty has left a legacy the place numerous our dad and mom might really feel intimidated in going to a college setting like this, so we have gone all out to attempt to make dad and mom really feel comfy, for the varsity to be a neighborhood faculty,” he stated, including elders can even be capable of use the strolling observe above the varsity’s gymnasium for train.

Ivan Augustine, Elsipogtog First Nation Training Authority’s training director, says he desires dad and mom nonetheless combating the legacy of residential faculties to really feel welcome at Elsipogtog First Nation Neighborhood Faculty. (Raechel Huizinga/CBC)

The college is the envy of different instructional centres, Augustine stated, due to the vary of providers it has available: speech and language providers, occupational remedy, instructional psychology, medical psychology, and steering counselling.

“When a child at our college wants a service, we have now it proper there on the bottom. We do not make a referral and have the child get that service two weeks later. When the children want a service, we have now it right here.”