The Sagamok Anishnawbek Education Committee is an Anishnawbe, Community-Controlled and a Community-Based Educational Network.
We shall provide a holistic educational process towards the well-being of the individual learners of the Sagamok Anishnawbek Nation.
The following are the four strategic goals of the Sagamok Education Unit:

  • Language and Culture
  • Student Success
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Governance and Leadership.

These goals guide the program and services delivery within the Unit at various sites in Education.

language and culture

Anishinaabemowin Enjigbeshing 5th Annual Anishinaabemowin Language Camp  

Sagamok Education and Community Wellness Departments hosted this year’s Anishinaabemowin Enjigbeshing 5th Annual Anishinaabemowin Language Camp during the week of July 21-26 at beautiful Fort LaCloche.  

Joanne Owl coordinated the event, supported by Summer Students Robin Eshkakogan and Star Trudeau, who worked in collaboration with a range of Sagamok Anishnawbek program and services, Sagamok Anishnawbek Che-Anishnawbek (Elders Council) and community-at-large.  Financial support was provided from the North Shore Tribal Council Education Program and the Union of Ontario Indians.


Our goal is to encourage and guide our children through experiences that will enrich their self-confidence and strong sense of belonging through the Seven Sacred Teachings of Life-long Learning.

  • Children and staff participated in our Annual Language Camp at Fort LaCloche which gives them an opportunity to express themselves and connect with our language through listening and enhancing their communication amongst peers.
  • Our program nurtures children’s development and supports their sense of self by providing daily outdoor activities for discovery and learning with our bodies, minds and senses.
  • We focus on creating and supporting caring relationships that are shared between children & adults through our Elder’s visiting program. We had a total of 6 Elders visiting twice per week.
  • Preschool children attended Fall Harvest and were able to observe an Elder clean a partridge and a rabbit. By providing this experience, our children had the chance to be involved by exploring & asking questions.

Biidaaban Kinoomaagegamik continues to place language and culture as a priority providing students with opportunities for cultural teachings and the infusion of language and culture into everyday activities.  This year, we added a Cultural / Elders Coordinator to oversee the Visiting Elders Program and seek out community individuals and other resources to provide cultural based learning opportunities for students.  A focus on the future is to encourage more men to come forward to share.  

Cultural Teachings:

  • Elders visit Biidaaban Kinoomaagegamik classrooms to tell stories, demonstrate crafts and speak Anishinaabemowin with our students.
  • Students enjoyed learning about the importance of the eagle feather and community staff, the Four Sacred Medicines and smudging ceremonies.
  • During the spring maple sugar run, students made birch bark bowls to collect sap and to be used for feast offerings.
  • Students joined community Elders to walk in Solidarity for the water on World Water Day in March.
  • Students have opportunities to share songs on the drums with the Biidaaban drum group, the Biiwaasaaya Junior Singers and girls hand drum groups engaged in extracurricular and after-school programs.
  • Traditional dance workshops continue to be offered to students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.   Biidaaban singers and dancers attended the Espanola High School pow wow during the month of May.
  • Students had the opportunity to learn quillwork, ribbon skirt making, loom work, necklaces and hand drum making.
  • At the beginning of each month, students attend a monthly Mino Bimaadziwin assembly that recognizes students for demonstrating traditional teachings and excelling in their school attendance.

The Student Support Network (SSN) is a group of Sagamok Education staff from each level of education intended to:

  • help staff in dealing with internal issues, concerns, and personal wellness
  • plan for educational activities in a collaborative environment
  • meet the needs of all learners, with a specific focus on transitions and implementing Student Transition Support Plan activities

2019 Student Career Fair

Weekly career research guidance sessions are held each year throughout April and May with grades 6-8 students engaged in researching various careers and occupations, getting them acquainted with career research and start thinking about future career possibilities.  At the end of May, as part of Education Month, 40 students (20 males, 20 females) completed 31 Career Projects and shared them with the community.  

Career & Education Planning Series Workshops

Workshops are held for each level from grades 9 to 12 to engage students in career and education planning and research. During these sessions, students can prepare for meeting prerequisite requirements throughout their education and for eventual career/workforce entrance. Each grade is engaged in online Labour Market Research, and students are supported with developing a Career Action Plan that identifies their individual educational pathway throughout high school and post secondary in their field of interest.

Between October 2018 and May 2019, nine (9) sessions were offered for students and three (3) sessions were offered for parents. In total, seven (7) parents attended information sessions and sixty-nine (69) students. No students came to the Grade 11 sessions.  

This year, we merged grade 9 and 10 and geared it towards student interest in various fields. From last year’s evaluations, we heard that participants want to hear more of first person perspectives in our workshops so we brought in guest speakers that work in those fields to promote education and inspire our students to pursue jobs and co-op placement.  

On February 21, the Student Support Network and Espanola High School Students came together with Dean Riggs (EHS Co-op Teacher), Jon Brunette (Espanola Hospital Representative), Vanessa Dorian (Personal Support Worker), Vern McCumber (APS Officer), and Kristina Rivard-Gobbo (EHS Principal) to listen to real-life experiences of people engaged in a wide range of careers.  Students were also given the opportunity to research a variety of post-secondary programs and match the high school prerequisites needed to apply to them. 20 Espanola High School students attended in the morning and 17 attended in the afternoon.  

The student’s evaluation comments outlined that they enjoyed learning, “where certain careers can lead you,” “that co-op placements can help you choose a career,” “that it takes a lot of work and planning to get to the career you want.” A few points for the following year are to bring in someone in the computer programming and mining field, as well as discussing summer co-op options.

Land Based Learning Experiences
  • Grade 8 students enjoyed a variety of indoor and outdoor cultural and land based activities like archery, setting nets, fishing and beading during a session hosted by the Lands Resources and Environment and Community Wellness Departments at Ritchie Falls.
  • Grades 1 through 8 participated in the annual Sagamok Anishnawbek Fall Harvest and Grade 6 students participated in fall harvest activities hosted by Kenjgewin Teg in M’Chigeeng.
  • Intermediate students were involved in a two hatchery project: one for Rainbow Trout and the other for Walleye.
  • Students and staff participated in land-based learning with Great Lakes Cultural Camp.
  • Students engage in local community outings, like medicine walks, art opportunities and hikes.
  • Grade 1 students had the opportunity to skin and prepare a rabbit to eat, enjoying rabbit soup and bannock.
  • Students visiting a beaver pond with Elder Michael Abitong, learning words in Anishinaabemowin and information about beaver habitats.
  • Grade 7 and 8 students had the opportunity to learn how to cook a goose with a work-shop by Englebert Cheakasm.
  • Grade 8 students went ice fishing along with their parents and community Elders during an event hosted by the Lands Resources and Environment department.
  • Intermediate students participated in teachings on the rites of passage.
  • Students participated in Kenjgewin Teg’s Indigenous Games.
  • 15 students attended the first Language Bowl hosted in M’Chigeeng where they sang songs in Anishinabemowin and performed a skit, assisted by Elders.
  • 1 student was recognized with a Memorial Award at the annual Anishinaabemowin Teg Conference.
  • Grade 8 students netted their own fish to resource their annual June fish fry fundraiser.

Community Involvement
  • Students made 100 medicine bags that they shared with the greater community during National Aboriginal Addictions Awareness Month.
  • Students made 100 red felt dresses that they shared with the greater community during May’s Red Dress Day.  Elder Grace Manitowabi has carried these little red dresses with her to meetings outside the Sagamok community to share awareness about Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
  • Students help create wreaths for Tasnhwang with collaboration with the Community Wellness Department.


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