Windigo First Nation and KPDSB sign MOU
Windigo First Nations Council and the Keewatin Patricia District School Board announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to enhance educational services and opportunities for students and staff.
The agreement was signed Thursday, Nov. 29 in Winnipeg during the WFNC Chiefs’ meeting.
“We envision going forward with the issues outlined in the memorandum of understanding, it can only benefit our students, not only academically, but also emotionally and socially with the necessary supports that will ensure their success,” said WFNC CEO and Council Chair Frank McKay in a press release.
The MOU is intended to establish a forum for the WFNC and KPDSB to work collaboratively to help design and promote strategies to equip First Nation students with the social, emotional and academic educational opportunities required to be successful in reaching their personal and educational goals, and in attaining achievement levels comparable to the general student population in Ontario.
“Both Windigo and the KPDSB ensured Indigenous and Northern children were at the center of every conversation and decision throughout the creation of this agreement,” said KPDSB director of education Sean Monteith in a press release.
“The centrepiece of this agreement assures all of the Windigo communities that the KPDSB will share its expertise, learning and capacity-building so that the Windigo Education Authority may in a shorter period of time, be a stand-alone education authority.”
Some of the priority areas in the MOU include student support services which is focusing on student safety, social and emotional mental health, student transition and orientation programs, early exposure to career planning, parental empowerment initiatives, support mechanisms for students living away from home, student retention strategies, access and ongoing participation in extra-curricular activities, the development of a First Nation student anti-addiction education program, and other student support services as needed.
Some other areas include independent education plans, curriculum, professional development, communication, human resources and professional mentoring.
“KPDSB will share its expertise, learning and capacity-building so that the Windigo Education Authority may in a shorter period of time, be a stand-alone education authority,” Monteith said. “Keewatin-Patricia will now proudly add Windigo to its successful Indigenous partnerships that will improve the lives of children.”
(From left) Kenora District Services Board CAO Henry Wall, WFNC Chief Executive Officer and Council Chair Frank McKay and KPDSB director of education Sean Monteith.