THUNDER BAY – Grade 4 and 6 students from Ma-tah-ha-mao School in Peawanuck have been awarded First Nations University of Canada’s annual Wiseman Mathematics Competition’s Elder Ken Goodwill Memorial Award for achieving the highest math scores for their respective grades.
Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus says these students deserve to be recognized for their achievement. “This award is huge given the fact there were 31 schools taking part in this competition. This shows that were are making progress in Timmins-James Bay when it comes to raising the level of education in First Nations,” states Charlie Angus.
Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson says this award is the first of its kind in North America. “This really motivates young students in First Nations schools to learn math. It pushes kids to want to be the best. When they have that attitude in school, they have a better chance of succeeding in life.”
The annual competition was designed to encourage students in First Nations schools to study and learn math in a competitive environment in order to sharpen their math skills. Angus says the contest doesn’t have any registration fees.
“Not having to pay removes one of the biggest hurdles First Nations schools often find standing in their way of participating. Now they can be judged on their skills and not their ability to pay.”
Since its inception, the contest has grown steadily in profile and participants and, just last year, it expanded to include Grade 6 students for the first time. This year, approximately 800 students from Grades 4, 5 and 6, representing 31 First Nations schools from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario registered in the contest.