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Green House Project hopes to educate students and offer a healthier diet

National News | June 25, 2019 by Priscilla Wolf APTN

Former prime minister Paul Martin was on hand to launch a new project in Ile a la Crosse, Sask. called the Green House Project.

The project is part of the Martin Family Initiative that has been working with schools across Canada for almost a decade.

Martins says he sees Indigenous youth as an investment for Canada.

“The Green House Project hopes to address many issue related to food, food security, and horticulture that disproportionately affects Indigenous Peoples and their communities,” Martin said. “The Greenhouse Project is a school – based program that introduces students to horticulture through hands on lessons and practices.

“It seeks to complement a number of existing course areas for high school students including entrepreneurship, science, math, and nutrition.”

The goal is to get the high school students skilled at growing their own food and sharing it with the community and area by using their entrepreneurial skills by building a business.

“We all understand that food in the north is expensive and that often times whether its fresh vegetables or fresh fruit  those things are not available as a result we have said one of the things we got to do in an entrepreneurial way  is to build greenhouses,” said Martin.

Green houses that can use solar energy and can be spread throughout the north that will create food security.”

Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP): A Canada-wide Program to Improve Student Achievement

Source: Giving Matters Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Carlana Lindeman, Author

There is a deep understanding across Canada of the need to enhance strategies to improve Aboriginal student success. There are approximately 1.7 million Aboriginal People in Canada, and one third are under the age of 15 — making them the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the country.

A real concern for Canada is the low Aboriginal high school graduation rate; the non-Aboriginal high school graduation rate is about 92 percent while the Aboriginal rate remains at about 50 percent. The Martin Family Initiative (MFI), a charitable foundation, was established in 2008 to help address these issues.

A decade ago, MFI ( launched the Grade 11 and 12 Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) to encourage Aboriginal students to stay in school, to learn about the Canadian economy and to acquire entrepreneurial knowledge and experience.

AYEP is currently offered in 51 schools across Canada; approximately 4,600 students have participated in AYEP since its inception. The 220-hour curriculum:

  • Contains Aboriginal content, including case studies and examples of successful Canadian Aboriginal business leaders.
  • Uses innovative hands-on activities, guest speakers and business mentors to help students learn how to create a product-based and/or service-driven business and about the services provided by banks and credit unions.  
  • Improves students’ proficiency in financial literacy, business, mathematics, English, accounting, marketing and information and communications technology, while supporting the acquisition of self-confidence, as well as communication and leadership skills.  
  • Employs a variety of teaching strategies including simulations, competitions, guest speakers, field trips to businesses and mentoring.

MFI determined that there was a need for Aboriginal-focused textbooks and led the development of AYEP’s instructor and student resource materials. These teaching materials are the first of their kind in Canada.

A 60-hour non-credit course for Aboriginal adults has recently been developed; it includes key elements of the Grade 11 and the Grade 12 AYEP courses. This course is flexible and can be offered over multiple weekends, or daily over two weeks, or in other combinations.

MFI, like the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, firmly believes that education is the best means to empower people to become more independent and to participate more fully in the benefits of our society. Our range of targeted programs exemplifies this belief.

Hear What Model School Principals Have To Say

Summary: A Martin Family Initiative – Model Schools Literacy Project

Steve Styers, Director of Leadership and Community Action, speaks with Principals Debbie Michael (Ermineskin Elementary School) and Darryl Flett (Keethanow Elementary School) about their instructional leadership and community engagement in the Project. Original panel discussion at the Assembly of First Nations, Directors of Education Conference, 2018; repeated and filmed at University of British Columbia in June 2018.

CPA Martin mentorship program for Indigenous high school students

Together, CPA Canada and the Martin Family Initiative co-sponsor the CPA Martin Mentorship Program for Indigenous High School Students.

The goals of our program are to support Indigenous students through their high school years, help them understand the benefits of pursuing post-secondary education, expose them to the business environment, and help them consider potential job opportunities, including careers in business, finance and the accounting profession.

The program is currently available in 26 schools in seven provinces across Canada: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

LSK Chosen To Participate In Model Schools Literacy Project

Source: The Weekly Press

Summary: Young students in their early years of learning will get some extra support thanks to the Model Schools Literacy Project. L’nu Sipuk Kina’muokuom (LSK) School in Indian Brook (Sipekne’katik) has been chosen to participate in the project, offered through the Martin Family Initiative.

“They’re working with us to improve literacy in students in grades primary through three,” said Kelly Oliver, the principal at LSK. “The project will be enhancing and supporting our resources, and providing training for teachers, and resources for teachers and staff. We started with the project in September.”

LSK currently has 45 students in Primary through Grade 3

Seabird Island school joins First Nations literacy project

Source: Agassiz Harrison Observer

Martin Family Initiative’s literacy project advances reading and writing skills

Literacy is proven to be key to predicting high school graduation and preparing students for academic success. That’s why the Seabird Island Community School is excited to join the Martin Family Initiative’s Model Schools Literacy Project, a program that helps ensure First Nations students can read and write well enough by the end of Grade 3 to support continued school success.

The Model Schools Literacy Project was launched in Ontario in 2009 with a five-year Model Schools Pilot Project in two elementary schools. Five years after the program started, results showed a 68 per cent increase in reading proficiency in grade three students – higher than Ontario’s province-wide average.

BMO Celebrating Women: BMO Recognizes Outstanding Women in Edmonton through National Program

As principal, Ms. Michael has introduced several initiatives and programs to foster and support the success of her students.

In 2016, Ms. Michael, as principal of Ermineskin Elementary School, an institution providing Nêhiyawewin education for approximately 470 students from the four nations in Maskwacis, Alberta applied for the Martin Family Initiative’s Model Schools Literacy Project (MSLP), a program that supports literacy education and achievement for Indigenous students from kindergarten to Grade 3.  All First Nations schools across Canada were eligible, but only six were selected. Ermineskin Elementary was selected due in part to the strength and commitment of Ms. Michael’s leadership.

Ms. Michael introduced The Leader in Me program, a method of teaching students to see themselves as capable leaders. Since the implementation of the program, students have become more active, engaged partners in their education and have gained greater self-confidence as leaders.

Ms. Debbie Michael received the BMO Celebrating Women Award for Community & Charitable Giving.

With humility and an unwavering commitment to excellence, Ms. Michael continues to be an inspiration to her students and an outstanding community leader.

Treaties and the Treaty Relationship

This issue of Canada’s History explores the history of Treaties and the Treaty relationship and is an important first step in sharing First Nations perspectives.

It has been developed with contributors who have helped to incorporate the spirit and intent of Treaty making. The contributors, drawn from across the country, bring expertise and insights that help us to understand the continuing relevance of Treaties and the Treaty relationship.

Everyone benefits when there is a greater understanding and appreciation of Treaties and the Treaty relationship. This special issue is part of a greater conversation to ensure that our collective history truly inclusive.

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