In an effort to advance early literacy and language revitalization, an online children’s storybook was unveiled Tuesday on Manitoulin Island.
Story time for students doesn’t get much cooler than this.
When you read “Ice Fishing with Nimkii” – who better to read it to you than Nimkii himself.
“So nice to see, not just the images and the history that have come out of this community, but to see the beauty of our people represented,” said Nimkii Levell, land-based learning instructor.
The terrestrial educator became the real character of a book designed by the school board and other groups.
It is an e-book that also promotes the learning of keywords in Anishinabee-Mowin.
“Reading and literacy are not just part of settler culture, but can and should be part of our culture,” Levell said.
“The ultimate goal was to infuse stories with the Anishinabeemowin language that is not just written, but to have and hear options to hear those words also spoken,” said Mick Staruck of the Wiikwemkoong School Board.
First graders meet virtually for 30 minutes once a week with an early literacy speaker from the non-profit group “Innovations for Life”.
The emphasis is on promoting reading from an early age and on protecting a culture.
“Wiikwemkoong Elementary School was actually the very first school to join our program in Canada, and it is from this school that we were able to support all the Anishinabek schools in the region,” said Fabrice Grover. , Innovations for Life Canada.
“We understand that our language kind of loses part of the language, but our community is very rich in knowledge keepers, language speakers, and the use of this e-book and its integration into learning the book electronics is really going to revitalize this,” said Tim Ominika, an elected official from Wiikwemkoong.
Students will receive a free copy this summer, and it will also be distributed to other students in the program, before being released to the public in January.
Moose Factory students everywhere now have the opportunity to learn more about this Manitoulin educator.
For Nimkii, if even a child recognizes him, he will know he is reading.