September 4, 2020

Fall Re-Opening Plan Prioritizes Health and Safety of Students, Faculty and Staff


University of Victoria to house national Indigenous law centre

September 03, 2020

The University of Victoria has announced plans to expand its law school building to include Canada’s first National Centre for Indigenous Laws. The $27-million project, jointly funded by the province, the federal government, and the Law Foundation of B.C., will bring a 26,000-square-foot addition to the Anne and Murray Fraser law building.


Without broadband access, online learning not viable in rural, remote Canada

September 03, 2020

As back-to-school season ramps up across Canada, the federal government is being urged to do more to help children in rural and remote parts of the country, including Indigenous communities. The deputy grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), which represents 49 First Nations in northern Ontario, told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday that the 9,000 elementary- and high-school-aged children in those communities are facing difficulties from the isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Unreliable internet means First Nation students at this school will learn from workbooks

September 02, 2020

As the province grapples with a safe return to class this fall, an Indigenous community in southwestern Ontario is dealing with an added complication. School officials at Antler River Elementary School in Chippewas of the Thames First Nation have decided to wait until February to start in person classes again. Internet access is unreliable and expensive, so students will learn from workbooks instead of online, highlighting a challenge faced by rural communities across the country.


‘Sugar cubes’ and shower curtains: Indigenous students head into uncharted school territory

September 01, 2020

September signals the start of a new school year. But instead of the usual crowded classrooms, students will find themselves adapting to a new normal. APTN News checked in with educators and First Nations leadership in western and northern Canada to hear how they are preparing for the new normal.


Here’s what happens when there are COVID-19 cases in Ontario schools

September 01, 2020

With two million students, teachers and other education workers heading back to class this month, confirmed cases of COVID-19 will almost undoubtedly appear in the province’s school system.  The Ministry of Health has laid out detailed guidelines on what’s to happen when staff or students show symptoms of COVID-19, or test positive for the coronavirus. School administration, the school board and the local public health unit all play roles in a response that can — if there’s evidence that infections are spreading — include shutting down schools.


Ottawa to name two former residential schools as national historic sites

September 01, 2020

The federal government is today formally recognizing one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history as an event of national significance and is designating two former residential schools as national historic sites. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson, who is responsible for Parks Canada, will officially announce today the federal government is taking steps to mark the history of the residential school system.


Funding delay leaves First Nations schools scrambling to safely reopen

August 31, 2020

By now, the halls at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay are usually filled with the excitement and nerves of anxious students starting a new school year. In 2020, however, the First Nations school is largely empty as it starts its program later and online.


Indigenous students choose the outdoors over the classroom

August 31, 2020

As school resumes across Canada, some Indigenous students are choosing to learn in the great outdoors instead of the classroom. They’re learning land-based traditional skills, while also studying online to reduce the risk of COVID-19.


‘We are already at a disadvantage’: Indigenous college students concerned about online learning

August 31, 2020

Kyla Morris, a psychology student from Kahnawake, Que., is nervous about the fall semester being primarily online due to the coronavirus pandemic. “For someone who needs extra help, I go see a tutor. It will be a bit harder for me to get what I need,” she said.  Morris, who attends Dawson College in Montreal, started classes this week. The majority of her classes are being held online but she said she is happy at least one class will require her to go on campus.


First Nations school plans a mixed bag as officials weigh safety amid virus spike in province

August 27, 2020

On-reserve schools are taking an abundance of caution this fall, with many First Nations leaders still weighing the risks of a full return to classrooms next month amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Manitoba. Some communities are closing their physical buildings indefinitely. Others are offering blended instruction, which will see students in all grades attend school on alternating days. A few remain undecided.


Anxious wait for school to start on Manitoba First Nations

August 27, 2020

With September approaching and the number of COVID-19 cases rising in the province, concerns are mounting for parents on Manitoba First Nations about sending kids back to school. “There is a lot of fear and anxiety in terms of what to do,” Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Executive Director Charles Cochrane told CTV News on Thursday.


Ontario First Nations group says federal back to school funding is too late for remote communities

August 27, 2020

An Ontario First Nations group is criticizing the federal government’s back-to-school funding plan, saying the money comes too late to make meaningful change in their remote communities. On Wednesday, Ottawa announced $2 billion in funding that will go to provinces and territories, who will decide how the money is allocated.


Province, feds playing ‘ping-pong’ on pandemic funding for First Nations schools, NDP says

August 28, 2020

Students from remote First Nations in northern Ontario are being short-changed by both levels of government when it comes to their safety during the pandemic, according to the NDP MPP for the region. Some First Nations may not be able to open elementary schools in their communities at all this year, according to the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and one high school is resorting to phoning and faxing students with lessons. It’s all an effort to keep kids safe from COVID-19 in communities that lack basic infrastructure such as broadband internet access.


A/Ontario Regional Chief Alvin Fiddler Statement on $112 Million for On-Reserve Schools for Safe Re-Opening

August 26, 2020

Acting Ontario Regional Chief Alvin Fiddler is hopeful today’s $112 million funding announcement to support First Nation education community will help to ensure a safe return to school on reserves. “Today’s announcement is very much welcomed, but the delay in addressing the ongoing funding requests to ensure the health and safety of First Nations children returning to school on-reserve has been very distressing to leadership across the region,”


First Nations back-to-school COVID-19 funding falls far short, says AFN regional chief

August 26, 2020

The $112 million for COVID-19 back-to-school preparations for First Nations that Ottawa announced on Wednesday falls far short of needs faced by communities, according to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) regional chief responsible for education.  Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron, who is the AFN regional chief for Saskatchewan, said the over 630 First Nations across Canada need about $1 billion to fully prepare for the restart of classes amid the pandemic.  “Obviously our expectations were much higher,” said Cameron, who holds the education portfolio. “We should have received $1 billion or close to it and at least we would have a fighting chance to have our schools ready.”


Schools resort to phone and fax machine to restart classes in northern Ontario First Nations

August 27, 2020

High school students in some remote First Nations in northwestern Ontario will talk to their teacher on a landline and get their lessons through a fax machine next month in an effort to keep their learning on track and keep them safe during the pandemic. It’s one of the ways Matawa Education and Care Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont. has had to adapt to serve its students in fly-in communities that lack reliable Internet access. It’s not clear how far the $112 million dollars in federal funding announced for First Nations education during the pandemic will go toward addressing those needs.


Six Nations elementary schools to do remote and virtual learning for September and October

August 26, 2020

Six Nations elementary school students will use online and remote learning during September and October as classes reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made in consultation with the Six Nations Emergency Control Group.


Ontario Releases COVID-19 Management Plan for Schools

August 26, 2020

As part of Ontario’s plan for students to safely return to the classroom in September, the government has released the Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools document. This guide was developed in consultation with public health experts, including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and aims to help schools identify and isolate COVID-19 cases, reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and prevent and minimize outbreaks.


Ottawa Pumping Extra $2 Billion Into Safe Back-To-School Funding

August 26, 2020

The growing level of anxiety experienced by parents and teachers over reopening schools during a global pandemic have reached the ears of highest level of government — shortly before children head back to the classrooms. The federal government will provide up to $2 billion in additional funding to help provinces and territories prepare for a safe return of children to classes this fall, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday.


COVID-19 test imperfect in children, raising questions about detecting it at school, doctor says

August 27, 2020

A Toronto pediatrician says COVID-19 tests may not be sensitive enough to always accurately detect the virus in children, raising questions about containing the novel coronavirus when students return to school next month.

Dr. Dina Kulik, the director of Kidcrew, a pediatric clinic in the city, says since the start of the pandemic she’s seen children with COVID-19 displaying an array of symptoms, from diarrhea to rashes.