Thunder Bay – The Welcome Path for Students

Flowers to remember those students who have been lost.
September 1 2012 - Memorial Service to start the school year at Dennis Franklin Cromarty School

Thunder Bay Schools - students heading to stations at Fall Harvest
Thunder Bay High School Students at Fall Harvest at Fort William Historical Park

Thunder Bay – No More Kids in the River

THUNDER BAY – Over the past two weeks, hundreds of students have arrived in Thunder Bay from across the North. These students are in Thunder Bay to attend high school.

Video Aims to Help Youth Moving to Thunder Bay

Video and Film Maker Paul Morralee says, “From consultation with over 250 youth, we know that the transition to Thunder Bay from remote communities remains a time of anxiety and stress for many First Nations youth. For many students, this is their first time away from their community and their family and one of their first times in Thunder Bay”.

“Not only are students experiencing a transition to high school but also are learning to live in a new and different community,” continued Morralee.

The Welcome Path is a video created with hopes of addressing and alleviating some of this anxiety,” adds Morralee.

This video is a culmination of information gained from surveys, youth workshops and conversations had with Northern First Nations, both youth and adults, about their experiences coming to Thunder Bay. The video identifies common worries youth experience, what can alleviate some of the worries and how youth can use their own personal resiliency and strengths to overcome the challenges that moving to a new city may cause. First Nations youth worked closely with this project through writing and directing the script and acting in the video.

For new students coming to Thunder Bay there are many challenges.

Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy, speaking with NNL earlier this year stated, “It is a battleground”.

Regional Chief Beardy said,  “It has created concerns in the Northern communities, not unlike the families of Canadian soldiers who have gone to Afghanistan to fight. The families are questioning if their young people headed to Thunder Bay are going to return home, or survive.”

“Every mother and father in the north, with a son or a daughter attending school in Thunder Bay worries constantly about the safety of their child,” said the Regional Chief for Ontario.

The CBC has done a documentary ‘Stories from the River’s Edge’ that aired on the Fifth Estate. That program highlighted the problems in Thunder Bay that youth coming to the city face. It was produced after Jordan Wabasse went missing and was later found in the Kam River.

Eight young people from Northern Communities have died while attending school in Thunder Bay.

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