Tuesday, 2 May 2017



Our class began a new project last week! For the past four weeks we have been learning about a community called Garden Hill First Nations.  A month ago we became Pen pals with a Grade 4 class at the elementary school there.  Each student in our classroom got the name of another student and wrote them a letter.

During this time we began a study of their community.  We have learned that this is a remote fly-in community located on Island Lake in Northern Manitoba, approximately 600 km northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  It is accessible only by plane, winter ice roads or by boat.
There are approximately 2,776 people in this community. Most people speak Ojibway-Cree or English.  Their population is growing rapidly and has increased by almost 50% since 2006.   

As we continued researching this First Nations community we learned their language, customs and traditions remain strong there. Hunting and fishing is important part of their culture. Trap lines that were assigned by families centuries ago are still being used today. 

We also read that they have a shortage of housing, a lack of infrastructure and only one store – a food store.  They do not have a community centre, or a library.  This led to some interesting discussion about how people in this community get food, clothing, shelter, books, etc.

We talked about what it would be like to grow up in a community where you would not have the same amenities or level of access to these things that students who live here do.  This generated a great discussion.  We stopped for a bit when a student asked how do you think they get books to read? 
I tried to capture parts of the conversation after this.  Here is how it went. 

“Maybe they could buy them at the store, but if there is only one store then they probably don’t have very many books to choose from. (Nohva)   
Maybe we could send them books.”  Annelle
Maybe we could bring books from home that we don’t need or read anymore and we could send them to them. (Jenna)
We could put them in the mail. (Johnathon)
We could ask them what their favorite book is?  (Johannah)
I would like to bring books to help with this. (Keaton)
We can send them things to put their books in.  (Jenna)
I think we should try to give them 200 books and give them a library like ours. (Alex)
I think I have some books that I don’t read anymore that I could donate. (Braedy)
I have some books too. (Easton)
We could make this our project. (Lily)
I think we should give them books that are in good shape. (David)  
We probably all have some books that we don’t need anymore. (Ibrahim)
Maybe we could send them some books from our classroom library (Henry)
I have some Robert Munsch books and some others that they might like. (Micah)
Maybe we could send them some Fancy Nancy books. (Ella)
I think they would love the books, if we sent some to them. (Jax) 
They might even love reading if they had new books! (Nolan)
How can we afford to send them? It might be expensive? (Caden)
Maybe someone might be going to Manitoba and we could send them with them. (Mason) If everyone brought five books and Mrs. Gilroy gave them 80 we would have enough. (Mason)
We could write letters to Canada Post to see if they could help us mail them. (Brynlee.)
Maybe we could send the books by airplane. (Kevin)
We could write a letter to other people to ask for help to mail them. (Hannah)

So far, this is where we are at in our discussions.  Annelle brought several books in this morning to kick our project off.  Please feel free to chat with your child about this. I will keep you posted as our project progresses.  If your family is able to donate some books that would be wonderful. 

Thank you for your continued support!


Jorie Gilroy

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