July 12, 2020

19° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Close this


Advertise With Us

Feds say they will try to keep Lake St. Martin students together

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/11/2012 (2803 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The federal government issued a statement late Wednesday saying Ottawa is negotiating with Lake St. Martin First Nation to find a way to keep evacuated students together in school.

An estimated 85 Lake St. Martin students lost their school in Winnipeg when the Winnipeg Fire Department shut down the building for fire code infractions.

Originally, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan in Ottawa told the community that the department would take over the schooling responsibilities from the First Nation and split the students up among different Winnipeg schools.

Late Wednesday, Ottawa suggested it was shifting its stand.

"Our priority remains ensuring that the students are able to continue with their studies with minimal interruptions, and in a safe environment," a regional departmental spokeswoman said by email.

"To that end we are in active discussions with the province to present the students, their parents, and the First Nation with options that would allow the students to remain together in a provincial school."

The department said it will now communicate directly with parents, who are among 2,000 First Nation flood evacuees in the province, for a solution to keep the students together in school.

There was no mention, however, of reopening the school that was shut down. Community leaders, meanwhile report that the repairs are being completed and arrangements are being made for fire officials to conduct another inspection, with a view to reopening the school.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs weighed into the political debate around the issue earlier Wednesday.

Manitoba’s chiefs want 85 Lake St. Martin school children back in the classroom and they’re asking Ottawa to stop using them as political pawns in a battle over who controls the community’s off-reserve school.

Manitoba’s chiefs summoned federal officials to a meeting to reopen the school Lake St. Martin operates for its school-age evacuee students.

"I find it appalling that your solution to a building code issue is forced separation for these school-age children," Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs leader Derek Nepinak wrote the federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan in a letter Tuesday.


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.


Updated on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM CST: Adds link to letter.

6:33 PM: Updates with Ottawa response

The Free Press will close this commenting platform at noon on July 14.

We want to thank those who have shared their views over the years as part of this reader engagement initiative.

In the coming weeks, the Free Press will announce new opportunities for readers to share their thoughts and to engage with our staff and each other.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us