Wunnumin Lake First Nation celebrates official opening of John George Martin Memorial School

Wunnumin Lake First Nation recently celebrated the official opening of John George Martin Memorial School, which replaces the Lydia Lois Beardy Memorial School. The new school is named after the late First Nations Elder John George Martin. It has bright hallways, traditional artwork, and Oji-Cree syllabics above coat hooks and cubbies. One of the school’s mandates is to strengthen the Oji-Cree language in the community: The school offers a new Oji-Cree language immersion program for students from junior kindergarten to Grade 2. Once students complete these grades, they continue taking Oji-Cree as a class. “That’s one of the main goals that I have — to start encouraging the parents to speak the language to their grandkids and kids instead of English,” said the school’s education director Tommy Sainnawap. “It starts at home.”