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Robinson wants action on Lake St. Martin students

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Manitoba’s aboriginal and northern affairs minister Friday urged Ottawa and First Nations officials to come to an agreement so that Lake St. Martin First Nation students can resume classes as soon as possible.

Eric Robinson also offered to fund an after-school program support for the First Nation’s kids.

"As soon as we were notified of the school closure, we arranged and offered alternate class space in the provincial school system to allow students to continue their studies together as a community," said Robinson. "Allowing the students to fall further behind with this offer sitting on the table would be nothing short of irresponsible."

The province has also offered to work with the community to develop a program to provide students with activities "in the critical after-school hours and help them get through this difficult time," Robinson said

The after-school program would be modelled after the province's successful Bright Futures program that partners with community organizations to deliver individually tailored supports including tutoring, outreach to increase family involvement in schools, mentoring, goal-setting, career exploration and bursaries in order to improve graduation rates and increase access to post-secondary education.

The provincial offer to work with the community to develop after-school programming could result in organized activities in areas such as:

* sport, recreation and physical activity,

* arts and cultural appreciation,

* education and career exploration,

* health awareness and life-skills development, and

* leadership and service to community.

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