The Blog

Follow along as we work towards systems change and help create better outcomes for kids in our community.

The Importance of Education for Children in our Community

May 28, 2015

Education is and always will be very important in building a strong foundation in one’s life.

This is especially true in terms of looking at our future generation. We want our youth to be educated, to be up to date with current issues, and able to provide knowledge to the next generation. Education is a strong building block in building a stronger and healthier community.

This starts by putting an emphasis on the importance of education in our youth today. As a community, it is our obligation to help a child develop their identity and be a contributing factor to society. We must refocus on the idea that a child is the centre of our community.

As a community we must provide protection, security, knowledge, and most importantly good values. If we can help our youth to become positive and engaging members of society, this will only help in developing, not only a stronger and healthier community, but a safer one as well.

When considering the shaping of our future generations, we must look seven generations back and seven generations ahead. It is important to respect our past in terms of how we were raised and how we can develop previous teachings to ensure that our future is growing as well. It is important to stress these values and to create a path for future generations to follow.

A key factor in maintaining these values, again, is education. As a community, we want to see our children grow into strong leaders to develop and nurture our community further. Education and the importance of pursuing post-secondary education are vital to the development of our children and the community. However, there are many barriers that limit access to post-secondary education, especially in the Point Douglas area, such as: the cost to pursue post-secondary education, awareness of financial resources, literacy for application processes for these resources, lack of trust in the benefits of resources, lack of stability, as well as many others. This is where we, the Winnipeg Boldness Project, come in.

Situated in the Point Douglas area, one of our many focuses is the need and importance of education for children and families. With a child-centered philosophy, we are developing methods to help residents access resources in order to help them to save for post-secondary education.

By looking at all of the present barriers, The Winnipeg Boldness Project is narrowing the scope on these issues to help facilitate families through these processes. We want to provide solutions for families through existing resources, and one in particular is the Canada Learning Bond (CLB).

The first of five Proofs of Possibilities (POPs), the Canada Learning Bond is a federal program that provides money to families for their children’s post-secondary education in the form of a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). In the Point Douglas area there is a huge gap between children who are eligible for the CLB and those who have accessed it. Currently there are approximately 2500 children benefitting versus 10900 children who are eligible to receive benefits of the Canada Learning Bond. Closing this gap of over 8000 children represents a great opportunity for the community that would create an additional 16.8 million dollars in education savings flowing into the savings accounts of Point Douglas families.

Therefore, the Winnipeg Boldness Project is trying to help families obtain a CLB through a community centred approach on the importance of saving for an education for their child and how to access it. The CLB, with an initial deposit of $500.00 can eventually grow into $2000.00 specifically towards a child’s post-secondary education, whether it is a College, University, CEGEP, Trade School, or an apprenticeship.

By engaging families to start the saving process earlier, we are hoping to help children and families build a college-bound identity: that is, to change the question in children’s minds from “should I go to college?” to “where should I go to college?” Research conducted on this idea has proven that having a savings bond for a child can increase school performance, attendance, and motivation to pursue post-secondary education.

Engaging our children earlier on is the only way to ensure that seven generations from now will continue to flourish into a stronger and healthier community.

Land Acknowledgement

The Winnipeg Boldness Project resides in and works on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Anishinabewaki (Oji-Cree), Dené, Michif Piyii (Métis), Nêhiyawak (Cree), and Očhéthi Sakowin (Dakota). We recognize that we have benefited from and continue to benefit from colonization on the Treaty 1, Treaty 3, and Treaty 5 Territories.

It is important to also acknowledge how we benefit in this territory at the cost to Indigenous Peoples. Winnipeg has been drinking clean water for over a century via an aqueduct from Shoal Lake. In 1917, 3000 acres of Treaty 3 was declared property of the city of Winnipeg to build the aqueduct. This aqueduct was built over ancestral burial ground, to build these structures, the ancestors were disinterred and reburied. Construction of the aqueduct changed the waters significantly, causing the peninsula to become a man-made island. This now isolated Nation faced many challenges as a direct result from this aqueduct; Necessities like water, groceries, schools, and mail were only accessible via the dangerous trek to the mainland. Lives of adults and children were lost crossing to and from the mainland. Freedom Road, an all-weather road access finally opened summer 2019, over a century after displacement. This road, a testament to the success of Indigenous-led solutions, helps bring materials to build schools and a water treatment plant.

“I always think of it, even when I turn on the tap I’m like this comes from our community and this water probably contains our ancestors and the spirits of our ancestor. I think about the hardships of the people from Shoal Lake 40 who have gone through so many things for the benefit of Winnipeg’s drinking water,” says Angelina McLeod.1

Another benefit we reap in Winnipeg at a cost to Indigenous Peoples and land is the Hydro Electricity Development in Treaty 5. To optimize water movement for greatest power production the Province of Manitoba increased waterflow by creating the Churchill River Diversion in 1976. The modification of the waterflow caused flooding, shoreline erosion, and changes to water quality. This destruction of habitat has caused disruption to waterway travel, fishing, and hunting.