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Shamattawa aid

A Grade 5/6 class at Montrose School is lending a helping hand to the Manitoba First Nation of Shamattawa.

During a current events discussion in class, Room 132 students learned of a Sept. 22 fire that destroyed the First Nation’s band office and only food store.

“We heard they were in a state of emergency and that the Red Cross was collecting and donating food,” said one student. “So we thought we could help out and do that at our school too. They’re in our province so we should contribute and help.”

The class spread the word with posters and presentations to other Montrose classrooms, and also emailed information about the project to parents.

Students, staff and families around the school dropped off non-perishable items for the weeklong food drive.

“We collected bottled water and food, but there were also items like baby food, diapers and wipes,” said another student.

The class was ultimately able to gather 1,040 pounds of food.

Transporting food to Shamattawa is an ongoing challenge for the community; fortunately, Montrose was able to fly the food north. Parent volunteers picked up the food and brought it to Perimeter Aviation to fly to Shamattawa.  

Teacher Joelle Brown said she was impressed with the humanitarian efforts of her Room 132 students.

“I try to do current events every morning with the students. They saw the news clip about Shamattawa and they took it from there to help out,” she said.

“We’re trying to look at the three different pillars of sustainable development (social, environmental and economic) and get the students thinking about the broader picture. This was a good community building exercise.“

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