Native Literacy Pre-School Education Project


The Project

In 1999 The Centre for Literacy received a grant from Rotary International, Old Montreal Chapter to develop a collection of resources to aid pre-school education in native communities. It was decided to produce a series of mini-collections housed in small "Rubbermaid" boxes each distinctly designated for a particular native community in Eastern Canada. The communities in Quebec were: Kahnawake (Mohawk); Chisasibi (Cree); and Kuujjuak (Inuit). The three Mi'kmaq communities in Atlantic Canada were: Eskasoni (Cape Breton), Nova Scotia; Big Cove, New Brunswick; and Newfoundland. Once the materials are purchased, labeled, and organized the collections are to be sent to the designated communities for the school year. During the summers they were to  be returned to the Centre for Literacy to be evaluated and where necessary repaired and updated, then returned to the community for the following school year.


After consulting with all six communities priorities were established for the contents ranging from instructional materials to activity books, games, and object-oriented items. The main concern across all communities was that the contents reflect culturally relevant material and where possible some of it to be in their first language. While researching these ideas it quickly became obvious that there was no single clearinghouse of native resources, although there was beginning to be small concentrations of activity across the country. (See our list of selected sources)


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