The Kenora District Services Board and Windigo First Nations Council have announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, to better support youth with their education. The partnership is expected to help students reach their full educational potential, and provide housing supports.
The two organizations will collaboratively work together to strengthen education opportunities and supports for remote First Nation youth and families while continuing education away from home, in both provincially funded and First Nation operated schools.
The KDSB and Windigo First Nations Council will be working together to develop new housing units in order to provide student safety, coordinated supportive services for students, and housing and supports for their families.
“The signing of the MOU with Windigo First Nations Council marks an important and necessary commitment for the KDSB to ensure that progress is made on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action,” says Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer of the KDSB.
“Every student in Ontario deserves the same opportunity to access a good education; Indigenous students should be no exception.”
The KDSB says that many youth that live in remote First Nation communities have to leave their home, family and culture to gain education in the Kenora District. Individuals with a higher level of education tend to experience better health outcomes, social connectedness to deal with adversity, and the lack of affordable housing impacts health in many ways.
“If Windigo First Nations Council continues to be diligent in our efforts to support our students, student success rates will increase, and their dreams will become a reality,” says Frank McKay, Council Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Windigo First Nations Council.
“The relationship between Windigo First Nations Council and Kenora District Services Board addresses the many challenges that First Nation youth face; of the highest importance, it ensures student safety, academic excellence and student well-being.”
Windigo First Nations Council includes members of Bearskin Lake First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation, Koocheching First Nation, North Caribou Lake First Nation, Sachigo Lake First Nation, Slate Falls First Nation and Whitewater Lake First Nation.