By Shayla Bradley
The Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) and Windigo First Nations Council are joining forces to address housing needs for Indigenous students accessing education away from home.
The two parties entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which indicates both organizations will collaborate to develop new housing units in order to provide student safety, coordinated supportive services for students and housing and supports for their families.
The MOU also intends to establish a forum for the parties to partner in preparing Windigo students with the self-confidence and educational opportunities required to be successful in reaching their educational goals.
“If Windigo First Nations Council continues to be diligent in our efforts to support our students, student success rates will increase, and their dreams will become a reality,” said Frank McKay, council chair and chief executive officer of Windigo First Nations Council. “The relationship between Windigo First Nations Council and Kenora District Services Board addresses the many challenges that First Nation youth face; of the highest importance, it ensures student safety, academic excellence and student well-being.”
“The signing of the MOU with Windigo First Nations Council marks an important and necessary commitment for the KDSB to ensure that progress is made on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action,” said Henry Wall, chief administrative officer of the KDSB. “Every student in Ontario deserves the same opportunity to access a good education. Indigenous students should be no exception.”
Windigo First Nations Council is composed of chiefs of seven member First Nations, Bearskin Lake First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation, Koocheching First Nation, North Caribou Lake First Nation, Sachigo Lake First Nation, Slate Falls Nation and Whitewater Lake First Nation.