Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario's Literacy Initiatives

Further to a previous posting on this blog - here is a news piece on LG Bartleman's literacy initiatives - bringing books to aboriginal children in remote Northern-Ontario reserves. Lyndsay and I had the chance to meet and talk with Mr. Bartleman this summer in Toronto at the Frontier College Summer Leadership Forum.



DATE: 2005.11.08

Literacy and education divide aboriginals and non-aboriginals, Bartleman says

LONDON, Ont. (CP) _ Greater gaps than water quality exist between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians, says Ontario's lieutenant-governor.

The Kashechewan water crisis is ``an appalling, disgusting situation,'' James Bartleman said Tuesday while in London for the fall opening of the courts.

But larger issues remain to achieve social and economic equality, said Bartleman, a member of the Mnjikaning First Nation.

``Even more important than the water literacy and education,'' he said.

The Kashechewan water situation illustrates the ``Third World conditions'' which exist in Canada, Bartleman said.

But though the northern Ontario community of 1,900 _ recently evacuated when high levels of E. coli bacteria were found in the water _ has garnered national attention, the water crisis shouldn't overshadow other important challenges aboriginals face, he said.

``We as society have a long way to go,'' said Bartleman.

In the past three years, the Orillia, Ont., native has helped get more than 850,000 books to aboriginal communities, including Kashechewan.

``Ontarians want to help,'' he said. ``We just have to find the right way of doing it.''


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