Group works to prepare teachers for life in northern First Nations

An organization called Teach for Canada is doing its part to close the education gap in remote, northern First Nations.

The group works with teachers to prepare them for life in the north.

It’s an effort to address high turnover rates among southern educators who work in the north for short periods of time, leaving students in a perpetual state of learning to work with new individuals.

Nancy Waswa, education director for Eabameetoong First Nation, says teachers new to northern communities often don’t know what to expect when they arrive.

She says the boil water advisory her community has been under for 18 years is one deterrent for some teachers.

“It is my prayer that our community will be serviced with those emergencies that are identified — and I hope it will not stop teachers from applying and coming back to the community,” she says. “Because we do the hard work and the labour to keep our community moving forward.”

Those who’ve had positive experiences working in First Nations communities say new teachers have to arrive ready to learn, not just teach.

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