Local school receives funding support for Indigenous project

Pictured (L-R) ICS Student Emma holding a pair of moccasins, ICS Principal Papy Mukenge, CLC Member Les Nichols, NWMO Senior Engagement Advisor Cherie Leslie, and ICS Teacher Mary Steffen, also holding a pair of student made moccasins, at the cheque presentation in Formosa in December of 2020 (Provided by Steve Travale, Communications/Public Relations Officer, Municipality of South Bruce)

A student led project focused on helping the Indigenous community at a local school has received some financial support.

Grade 8 students at Immaculate Conception School in Formosa have a project called “So They Can Go Home” where they make moccasins and send them back to Manitoba along with letters for Indigenous infants in foster care. The students have learned that a disproportionate percent of children in foster care are Indigenous, and the rate is 90 percent in the case of Manitoba’s foster care system. So they wanted to help. Recently, representatives from the South Bruce Community Liaison Committee and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization provided funding to put together 10 moccasin kits to send to Indigenous children in Manitoba.

The kits were given to several Immaculate Conception classes to complete prior to the Christmas break, and once all of them are complete they will be sent to Manitoba. Grade 8 Teacher Mary Steffen taught the students about the inequalities facing the Indigenous community, and oversaw the project. The total funding provided was $1,800 through the Early Investments in Education and Skills fund provided by the NWMO.

“We are so grateful to the NWMO and the South Bruce Community Liaison Committee for helping support our project. It’s so amazing to see kids helping kids, especially in times such as these, and the CLC and NWMO helped make that happen,” says Steffen.

“The Committee was happy to provide support to make this unique program taking place at Immaculate Conception School a possibility. It is positive to see local students receive education on Indigenous issues, and support youth across the country in the process,” says Les Nichols, CLC Member.

“The NWMO has committed to contribute to reconciliation and we are delighted to provide support to a local school to contribute to the ongoing learning of our youth,” says Cherie Leslie, Senior Engagement Advisor for the NWMO.