My name is Ashley Wynne I am an Anishinaabe kwe. I am Turtle Clan with roots in Brunswick House First Nation. I am raising money for children's tuition to help low-income Urban Indigenous families attend Sage and Sunshine Culture-Based Private School.
The education industry has been mass-producing children’s education for a long time. They continue to assimilate Indigenous children by educating based solely on western worldviews and teaching in colonial languages (English and French) only. Indigenous knowledge is critically undervalued and contributes to systemic racism and the loss of Indigenous culture and identity. Many Indigenous children struggle to learn in a formal way and fall behind. Traditionally Indigenous people thrived by observing and exploring the world together providing a sense of security resulting in a better learning environment.
Growing up in Sault Ste Marie, the only connection I had to my Indigenous culture and community was through my Ojibwe language class at school, where I got to be with other Indigenous children for 1 hour/day. This was the only place I felt a sense of belonging and pride. When I was 11 my family moved to Peterborough, and I lost that connection. Now I am a mother of 4 and I have had to fight hard to connect my own children to their culture. My story is just one of many displaced Indigenous families, there are so many other families looking for connection to their roots and an education that values our traditional knowledge. This is why I have developed a culture-based school for Indigenous children living off-reserve.
Sage and Sunshine Culture-Based School is the only school in the area offering daily access to Indigenous language, traditional teachings and other cultural experiences. Students will attend full-time, Monday to Friday and will learn the Ontario curriculum at their own pace using a more traditional hands-on learning model which focuses on each child’s unique strengths and interests. Sage and Sunshine empowers children by using a variety of learning styles that work together to solidify concepts, so they thoroughly understand what is being taught. Bringing language, culture, and traditional teachings into learning further enhances and engages children in lessons that are meaningful to them building a strong foundation for academic success.
I believe Indigenous children should not still be forced to assimilate. They should not still be separated from their culture and families every day. They should not still be falling behind and feeling unworthy of help because resources are limited to them. They should not feel out of place and different. Sage and Sunshine Culture-Based School is dedicated to breaking the belief that others know what is best for our children. I believe it is time to take back our right to teach our own children!
My goal is to raise enough money to fully subsidize 8 children for the 2021-2022 school year. 100% of donations will go directly to Urban Indigenous Children's tuition. Please consider making a difference in the lives and future of Urban Indigenous children, their families, and their communities by helping them gain access to their language, culture, and community every day. Your contribution is more appreciated than you will ever know and we are truly touched to receive your support and generosity.