MANITOULIN—Rainbow District School Board First Nation Trustee Grace Fox has been appointed to serve a third term as the Manitoulin Island First Nation representative on the board.
“It is probably a good thing, because education is the only thing I know,” laughed Ms. Fox.
Ms. Fox she was “pleasantly surprised to see the results” at the improvement in First Nations students Education, Quality and Accountability (EQAO) scores reported this year, which outstripped those of the provincial average in some categories, but she steadfastly refused to take any credit for the improvement.
“Recognition has to go out to the parents who send their kids into school, encourage and support them to achieve their best,” she said. “(Parental) encouragement is essential to student success and I really am thankful to parents.”
“I think a lot of thank yous has to go out to the First Nation Advisory Council whose representatives come from the 11 First Nations schools who have education agreements with the Rainbow District School Board,” she added. “They are very active and a lot of the hard work takes place at their level.”
Ms. Fox described the advisory group as being dedicated to their roles and embodying the very best principles of teamwork. “Along with the Aboriginal Support Workers, everyone working together, we continue to encourage students to work hard and to meet their potential,” she said.
The role models that First Nations students have within the classroom are also having a tremendously positive effect, she said, as is the role and importance being placed upon First Nation culture and language within the classroom.
“All this plays a part and it is good to see,” she said. “Our students are gaining self confidence and they are discovering the doors that education can open for them.”
Ms. Fox said that she is looking forward to continuing to work on behalf of First Nation communities at the Rainbow District School Board over the next four years.