Edmonton Public Library

Voices of Amiskwaciy: Elder Wilson Bearhead

Voices of Amiskwaciy is a digital public space that supports the community to create, share, discover and celebrate local Indigenous content online. With the support of Canada 150 grant funding, Edmonton Public Library has worked to develop this initiative in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous communities and individuals in Edmonton. Voices of Amiskwaciy is a space owned by the Indigenous community.

The values that underpin this initiative were formed through several community discussions and consultations, including a pipe ceremony led by Elder Wilson Bearhead. The process has been fluid and responsive to community feedback. This includes all development aspects of the website, programming, outreach and communications with Indigenous communities.

In this video, Elder Wilson Bearhead shares his thoughts on the genesis of the Voices of Amiskwaciy project and its value for Edmonton's Indigenous communities.

Frontier College Summer Literacy Camp at Montrose School

In 2017, Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools partnered with Frontier College to promote more students’ opportunities and achievements through Summer Literacy Camps. The camps use a daily curriculum of literacy-embedded activities to reduce summer learning loss and support children’s ability, enjoyment, and confidence as readers.  This summer’s camps at Brightview and Montrose schools reached 38 children. 

Beyond the benefits to campers, Summer Literacy Camps make a wider impact on communities by:  
Campers spend time reading every day and bring books home to keep. This year, each camp received approximately 180 books. In total, campers in Edmonton received 360 books to build their home libraries. 
Elders and community members lead Indigenous language and culture sessions, field trips, and other activities. Parents and family members support their children’s learning by visiting camp—to read a book, play a game, or just observe. Their presence sends a positive message to campers about the value of learning and education.  
Local staff receive training and increase their leadership skills and literacy knowledge as camp counsellors. This year, five counsellors in Edmonton received intensive Summer Literacy Camp training.

Camp Outcomes

  • 83% of campers said that camp made them more excited about school
  • 89% of parents said their children read more at home after attending camp
  • Camps increased students’ academic readiness, according to 85% of teachers surveyed nationally