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Programs in Indigenous Communities

Frontier College is proud of its long history of respectful partnerships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) communities across Canada. For over 40 years, Frontier College has worked with various FNMI partners to create appropriate literacy programs that address the needs of individual communities. We work to reflect the culture and traditions of each community in our programs. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report and Calls to Action show the injustices inflicted on FNMI communities during the residential school era. This has had a devastating impact on generations of FNMI Peoples. The Commission’s Final Report and Calls to Action reminds us that we each have a part to play in reconciliation efforts. These documents guide Frontier College and inform our work with FNMI communities and across our other literacy programs.

In partnering with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, we strive to develop innovative and responsive programs that:

  1. Respect the identity, diversity, priorities, and aspirations of each community
  2. Lead to tangible and sustainable outcomes for FNMI children, youth, and adults
  3. Address the educational attainment gap between FNMI and non-FNMI students, and FNMI children and youth living both on-reserve and off-reserve
  4. Build local workforce skills that enable communities to participate in and maximize economic development opportunities
To get involved or learn more about our Programs in Indigenous Communities, please take a look at our community page.

 

Community Literacy Catalysts (CLC) Project

The Community Literacy Catalysts project assists FNMI communities in building/strengthening local capacity and expertise while also implementing and integrating different types of literacy programs that meet specific local needs, priorities and contexts.
 

In each community, local Literacy Catalysts are paired with Frontier College trainer-mentors, who provide them with ongoing professional training and coaching to carry out all aspects of literacy programming, from community consultations and development to program implementation and evaluation. These literacy programs can be directed at children, youth and adults; address gaps in existing services in the community; and/or add value to existing ones.

Summer Literacy Camps
Indigenous Summer Literacy Camps and The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s Indigenous Summer Reading Camps
 
The Indigenous Summer Literacy Camps program began in 2005 – a vision of the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Hon. James Bartleman, who is a member of the Mnjikaning First Nation. The pilot was held in five fly-in First Nations in Northern Ontario that year and has since grown to serve thousands of children and youth in over 100 FNMI communities across Canada each year. The camps are held in partnership with the leadership in each community, and are also supported by many Lieutenant Governors across the country. In Ontario, the camps are supported by The Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and are known as the Lieutenant Governor’s Indigenous Summer Reading Camps.
  
The camps support FNMI student success in school by complementing the formal education system and responding to a need for quality learning supports in rural, remote, and isolated communities, especially during the summer months. The camps help prevent summer learning loss—the decline in student performance between school years—and promote a love of reading and learning so that students return to school better prepared to learn and succeed. Campers are provided with safe and supportive learning environments where they take part in many types of fun and educational activities, including reading, storytelling, writing, arts and crafts, music, science experiments, field trips, and more: all of which include embedded elements of literacy and numeracy. Parents, Elders and community members are also encouraged to take part in the camps by sharing their skills and knowledge, thus making the camps a community-wide initiative.
 
Program Objectives:
  1. Prevent summer learning loss
  2. Nurture a love of reading and learning
  3. Build on the literacy and numeracy skills of campers
  4. Promote parental and community involvement in the children’s learning
  5. Strengthen community capacity and build community partnerships
 
Quick facts and impacts:
  • In 2016:
    • 7,523 children and youth in 127 communities participated in camps
    • Parents and community members made 4,755 visits to camp to take part in activities with their children, and share their skills and knowledge
    • Children and youth benefited from over 14,000 hours of literacy programming
    • Over 34,000 free high-quality children’s books were distributed to campers
    • Over 300 young adults and adults were hired and trained as camp counsellors
  • 85% of teachers and educators surveyed noted that students who attended camp maintained or improved their literacy skills compared to students who did not take part
  • 93% of parents surveyed said their child developed stronger reading and writing skills after taking part in camp; and appeared more confident in their own abilities
 
Testimonials:
  • I have been a teacher for many years in our community and have seen the benefits of the literacy camp in our students as they return to school. I hope that the literacy camp will continue in our community in the years to come.” – Teacher
 
  • “This camp has been an awesome experience for my boys. They come home every day super excited to share with me about their day. This camp is a very positive thing as I have been unable to get them to read all summer until they started attending this camp. The books they bring home are an added bonus.” – Parent
 
  • “I have never had to be in a position where I saw myself as a role model for younger people, and I think that this experience has made me a better in person in so many ways.” – Camp Counsellor
 
2016 National Camp Report
 
Workplace Essential Skills Program
The Workplace Essentials Program is designed to complement employers’ existing training systems by focusing on lower-skilled employees who require additional support and training to strengthen their skills and competencies in order to execute their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

Instructors from Frontier College are contracted by employers to provide workplace-based literacy, essential skills, and/or academic upgrading programs for their employees on a one-on-one basis, in small groups, or even online. The curriculum is customized for each individual employee’s skill set, tasks and responsibilities while also incorporating overall employment and employer objectives, corporate culture and processes. This results in higher individual and overall productivity, workplace safety, and a more skilled and engaged workforce.
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