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Lake St. Martin kids back in school

St. James building gets permit after repairs

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Some 85 students from Kindergarten to Grade 9 return to school this morning, with aboriginal chiefs, including Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs leader Derek Nepinak, on hand to celebrate the event.

Lake St. Martin students had their schooling interrupted when the city found the St. James building they rented had failed fire code standards.

The former St. James school, sold a year ago by the local school division to a private developer, has been repaired since the shutdown Nov. 2.

Parents, local leaders and aboriginal chiefs are expected at the school, at 1970 Ness Ave, at 9 a.m. today.

Manitoba’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Eric Robinson urged the First Nation on Friday to ensure the students resumed classes.

The province, working with the federal government offered three alternative locations within days of the school shutting down.

The First Nation insisted it wanted to keep its own school and waited while the building owner fixed the chimney and made other repairs. The school received a permit to open this morning.

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs called it a minor but significant victory for the First Nation leaders in an announcement.

The closure was political; with the province and Ottawa working to move the kids into a new location and the local community determined to stay put. Half a dozen First Nations are among the 1,986 people still displaced by the 2011 flood. Lake St. Martin’s the only First Nation running its own school off reserve.

 

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