An elementary school on the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation is moving ahead with student literacy enhancement thanks to a program started by former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin.
The Martin Family Initiative provides supports such as teacher mentoring and books to help increase the learning skills of First Nations students across the country.
The Chief Beardy Memorial Elementary School is currently taking part in the initiative.
School principal Suzie Carriere says it is critical students hone their reading skills at a young age.
“If they’re not leaving our school knowing how to read, you know especially at the Grade 3 level, they will struggle,” she says. The support and resources come from the Martin Family Initiative’s Model Schools Literacy Project. The Moosomin First Nation School and Lac La Ronge Indian Band’s Keethanow Elementary School in Stanley Mission are also partners in the project. They join a handful of First Nations schools across the country.

(PHOTO: Former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin. Photo courtesy