PETERBOROUGH, ONT. —
A mother and early childhood educator is doing her part to revitalize the Ojibwe language, and help children connect with their Indigenous heritage.
Ashley Wynne runs Sage and Sunshine, a school where the goal is to grow children’s minds along with their cultural roots.
“I didn’t have any Indigenous friends, and so when my kids were starting school I really wanted that for them,” Wynne, who has two sons attending the school, told CTV National News. “Every day we learn about cultural teachings.”
The Ojibwe language and customs and are a priority at the school, along with one-on-one time with each child.
“The major reason I wanted to bring [my daughter] here is to incorporate a lot of the culture that we have been missing,” Dallas Contin told CTV National News. “She has a hard time learning in general, and this opportunity came along and she is actually starting to excel now.”
The school follows the provincial curriculum while using Ojibwe traditions to create a sense of belonging and fitting in.
“I want them to be able to take their culture and their teachings and not only bring it with them through their life but also be able to teach their own children,” Wynne said.
Eight students from ages four to nine are currently enrolled in the school, and there is already a waiting list for next year.
“Seeing my child enjoying coming to school and wanting to come to school is just a win-win,” Contin said.
Being a private school, Sage and Sunshine has set up a GoFundMe page to help with tuition costs for low-income families.