Shannen Koostachin, youth education advocate from the Attawapiskat
First Nation in Ontario, had a dream: safe and comfy schools and
culturally based education for First Nations children and youth.
First Nations schools receive less funding per student than Provincial
and Territorial schools, and zero dollars for things like libraries,
computers, languages or extracurricular activities. Many schools
are plagued by serious health concerns such as extreme black mould
contamination, high carbon dioxide levels, rodent and reptile infestations,
sewage fumes in schools and unheated portables.
Shannen worked tirelessly to try to convince the Federal government
to give First Nations children a proper education before tragically
passing away at the age of 15 years old in 2010. Named in her memory,
the campaign engages Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to better
understand the education inequities and to take action to ensure
all First Nations children and young people attend good schools
and receive a proper education that prepares them to achieve their
dreams and be proud of their distinct cultures and languages.
Shannen's Letter - English
Shannen's Letter - Cree