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About Shannen's Dream
School is a time for dreams, every kid deserves this - Shannen Koostachin
Many 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 also do not provide a safe and appropriate learning environment, and may pose serious health concerns, including mold contamination, high carbon dioxide levels, rodent infestations, sewage, and inadequate or lack of heating.
Shannen Koostachin, a youth education advocate from Attawapiskat First Nation, worked tirelessly to try to convince the federal government to give First Nations children a proper education. Unfortunately, she passed away in a car accident at the age of 15 before her dream could come true. But it did. On June 22, 2012—the day Shannen would have graduated—construction started for a new school in Attawapiskat. The new school opened in August 2014 (CBC).
Shannen remains an important role model for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children and young people who continue to carry her dream for safe and comfy schools for all First Nations children in Canada.
Reconciliation in Education
Education is the second priority area of Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. In the report, the TRC calls on Canada to provide culturally-based education for First Nations children, and to educate all people in Canada about Indigenous peoples to prepare them for the important work of reconciliation. For ideas on how to bring reconciliation into your classroom, visit School Resources.