Orientation program at Dennis Franklin Cromarty prepares students for school

Students on the DFC Memorial Walk
DFC Students on the memorial walk to the river
Students on the DFC Memorial Walk
Students on the memorial walk to the river

THUNDER BAY – There are several hundred students attending Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay. Those students have been going through an orientation program at the school over this past week.

Part of that orientation is introducing the students to the city of Thunder Bay. Many of the students, especially the Grade Nine students are new to the city.

The orientation program is designed to help keep the young people safer in our community while they are here. Over the course of their school year, between the teachers, staff and Principal of the school, members of the community, youth workers, and other helpers there are many more people working to make the transition to school easier.

Part of the orientation program is the memorial walk that the students take that remembers the students who came to Thunder Bay to attend high school and never returned home.

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It is an emotional journey.

The transition to living in the city from the more remote communities is not easy.

In many cases even though Thunder Bay is a fairly small city in some ways, when coming from a northern community our city can be seen as huge to a new student. There is one new, and very welcome addition as Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School this year. The new school safety zone along Edward Street is in place. That will make it far safer for students attending classes this year.

Wasaya Group is championing an initiative to build a Student Residence and Recreation/Activity Centre for DFC students in Thunder Bay. That plan is being assisted by others including KWG Resources through Canada Chrome. Chief Theresa Okimaw-Hall, Executive Director of KWG’s transportation subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation explained, “KWG will complete a private placement of flow-through shares to fund its half of the current drilling program at the Big Daddy deposit being conducted by Cliffs Natural Resources. The purchasers of the flow-through shares will then donate the shares to the United Way of Thunder Bay. The funds derived from their sale, through a working agreement with KWG Resources and the Wasaya Group/WasayaWee-Chee-Way-Win Inc. will then be made available for the acquisition, furnishing and maintenance of residences for students attending the Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School”.

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Wasaya Group Inc President & CEO Tom Kamenawatamin had been asked by a group of the High School’s students for help in finding a way for them to live together rather than being billeted throughout a frighteningly unfamiliar city. These young people, coming from the remote communities that are the owners of Wasaya and the other remote communities serviced by Wasaya, explained how traumatic the transition is for most of them, who also live with the past untimely deaths of so many of their number who arrived here before them. In discussions between the Wasaya Group CEO and KWG’s CEO, this plan was developed to utilize the incentives available in Canada’s taxation laws. I am also delighted to report that KWG’s Chairman, and its CEO, and its Vice-President of Exploration and Development, have together guaranteed the first 10% of the donations.”

There are many opportunities in Thunder Bay for activities. There are also opportunities for less positive choices. That is where the orientation, the after school programs, and the community can help.

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It has been said it ‘takes a village to raise a child’. Right here, right now, we have the youth of many villages arriving in our city. In many ways it will take all of us to help.

Welcome to Thunder Bay to the new and returning students at Dennis Franklin Cromarty and all the other schools.

James Murray

Chief Content Officer

As an aside, if you, or your company would like to help in the Wasaya Group/Wasaya Wee-Chee-Way-Win Inc. efforts, visit Wasaya Group/Wasaya Wee-Chee-Way-Win Inc..

Photos by Matilda Suganaqueb

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