Fond du Lac, Sask.
Ph: 686 2102
Father Gamache Memorial School reported a successful year for their students and staff. The nominal role in September 2003 listed our school with an enrollment of 312 for the 2003-2004 year, the majority of students were found in the Head-Start Program through to grade eight. Father Gamache Memorial School celebrated with the second graduating class in October 2003 with four students graduating from Grade twelve.
Throughout the academic year, our Grade seven class collected “one square meter of material for each day they were present.” The squares were then used to make individual quilts that were presented to each student at the end of the year.
In March of 2004, there was a one-week cultural event held on the school grounds. This consisted of demonstrations in setting traps, tent raising, fire building, snow shoe races, preparing and smoking dry meat, which culminated with a community feast on the last day of events. The teachings were delivered by our Elders, who passed on and shared their cultural and traditional knowledge with our youth. This week was of high priority and importance to our community.
The Breakfast Program continued throughout the year. This program focuses on the delivery of nutritional meals to each student every morning.
The academic year was successful and many of our students will continue on into the next academic level. The Athabasca Awards were presented to students in grades seven to nine.
At the end of the year, nineteen students received new bikes for their achievement, as the top academic student in each class. All students enjoyed celebrating the year-end with class events that were made available by fundraising activities that were held throughout the year.
The Day Care Center is a place for children from 18 months and up to stay, while parents are either at school or work.
Our center closes at the end of June and reopens at the end of August. Our staff has planned for an exciting year where our children will have the opportunity to have fun and learn at the same time. In addition to the Day Care Center, our community has an Aboriginal Head Start Program that is housed out of Father Gamache Memorial School. The Head Start Program is a school readiness program for children between the ages of 3 and 4 year old.
Post Secondary Students Support Program
Last year we had 31 students that were funded through the Fond du Lac Post Secondary Student Support Program. Overall there were ten graduates from the various technical and university programs for the 2003-2004 academic year. This year there will be 28 students funded to attend further post-secondary training.
Local Volunteer Fire Fighters
Our two groups of volunteer local fire fighters were invited to attend the provincial fire fighters competition in Onion Lake in August 2004. Both groups dominated the competition, coming up in top positions – 1st and 2nd place. The 1st place team also came in 1st at the Fire Power competition in Saskatoon. The team will be going to Chilliwack, B.C. on September 18, 2004 to compete in the National First Nations Fire Fighting Competition.
The Fond du Lac Health Center is currently operating with two full time nurses with an additional nurse joining the team in December 2004.
Pre-natal classes are held every two weeks covering different issues on pre-natal care. There are also cooking classes once a month, which include activities such as a baby food making. The program also gives out safety car seats to expecting mothers when they leave for the south to have their baby. There were 15 car seats given out since the beginning of the year.
The school programs will resume this fall. With the support of the Chief and Council, school staff and our CHR hosted a Bicycle Safety week on the school grounds. The main goal of this event was to highlight and implement the use of safety helmets, night reflectors, etc.
Baby Wellness Program
The Baby Wellness program is up to date with a 100% immunization rate for infants 0 to 18 months. Home Care Program We currently do not have a Home Care Nurse, this position has been vacant for quite some time. We have two Home Care Workers who provide residential services to our clients. Brighter Futures Program We held our Annual Youth Conference in March of 2004. The conference was a success with many students from the surrounding communities in attendance. We also had the Annual Elders Appreciation Night in December of 2003. The whole community was invited to attend a Feast which was held in honour of the Elders.
Recently, we initiated a travel club to raise funds for our youth to take part in future trips.
Dental Therapy Program
We have not had a full-time dental therapist for some time now. All services are provided to our members outside the community. But great news! We are expecting a new Dental Therapist – Roberta Ducharme – who will be working in the community as of September 2004. Our Dental Aide will be back providing dental programming within our school.
This year the Family Violence Program will be delivered as a separate program. Although funding for this program is limited, the goal is to implement awareness and prevention programming on family violence related issues in cooperation with other the community programs.
The NNADAP center welcomes the new programs that will be operating out of the centre: Brighter Futures, Early Childhood Intervention Program, Family Violence and Mental Health. Our goal is to have a “one – stop” wellness center to try and assist our community members in all aspects of healing. Recreation
Our Annual Winter Festival was held in March of 2004. We also hosted our annual Halloween Dance in October 2003, which offered different prizes for a number of different categories. Thank you all those who participated to make this event a huge success!
The Social Assistance Program provided clients with special needs – needs such as furniture, groceries, etc. The Social Development program bought bulk groceries and distributed them to all Social Assistance clients.
Special Projects and Events
This past year our community recognized the need to take a collective approach in the following areas:
a) developing effective stable programs; and
b) dealing with various challenges within the community.It was decided that an interagency approach would be re-started. The goal of the group will be to meet regularly and to take on an interagency approach to deliver the programs and services within the community.
The Interagency group will include the following: Chief and Council representatives, Education, Health, Recreation, NNADAP, Brighter Futures, Family Violence, ADCFS Inc, Economic Development, Northern Store, Local Parish, RCMP, etc.