New schools built through Manitoba Schools Initiative

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Transcript for new schools built through Manitoba Schools Initiative

Narrator: Over 600 kilometers northeast of Winnipeg are four remote First Nation communities, nestled in amongst the quiet lakes, rivers and streams of northern Manitoba.

The communities of Bunibonibee, God’s Lake, Manto Sipi and Wasagamack have come together with the Government of Canada and industry leaders to build new schools for their communities.

Former Chief Alex McDougall, Wasagamack First Nation: Historically, our curriculum runs from Kindergarten to Grade 10 and after completing Grade 10 at the community, that student is uprooted from the family setting, from the community setting, and sent to a large urban Centre like Winnipeg to continue their education, through 11, 12, University and so on.

Patricia Nina James, Manto Sipi Cree Nation: I went to school at my First Nation for a bit, but then I got asked shortly after, it was in Grade 12, I moved to go to Thompson for high school. Which was tough.

Rex Ross, Director of Education, Manto Sipi Cree Nation: In this process, we see that our children of today will attend this school and come to reality of completing and graduating for their Grade 12 here in Manto Sipi.

Cindy Scott, Former Principal, 1972 Memorial High School, Bunibonibee Cree Nation: As an educator, one of the things that we really need to do and focus on is celebrating the children.

Chief Tim Muskego, Bunibonibee Cree Nation: This means a lot to me, this means a lot to the community, not just today, but for years to come.

Narrator: Community members of all ages were hands-on in the design process that resulted in a school facility, designed for the community, by the community.

Chief Gilbert Andrews, God’s Lake First Nation: The community felt included; which is what we really wanted to get across. It’s their school. They should be a part of how it’s designed, how it would look.

Former Chief Alex McDougall, Wasagamack First Nation: We have a saying in our language, and it’s called mamo, it’s very simple, and it’s called working together.

Narrator: With the help of virtual reality technology, their designs were brought to life!

Student: Hi!

Narrator: Youth and other community members received training to construct, operate and maintain the same schools that they had a hand in designing.

Corbin Grieves, Bunibonibee Cree Nation: I hope there are jobs for local community members because it is hard to try and find jobs in this community.

Narrator: The schools are scheduled to open for the 2020-2021 school year and represent moving forward with a renewed sense of collaboration between Canada and Indigenous peoples.

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