The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is pleased to announce that its Jordan’s Principle Program will be expanded once more on March 22. Jordan’s Principle Coordinators are now employed by seven additional school divisions through partnerships with SCO.
According to SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, “It’s a great day, when I can say that another seven school divisions in our Territory now have a Jordan’s Principle Coordinator.” Their order is to zero in on guaranteeing First Country understudies have impartial admittance to the full extent of administrations and supports expected to accomplish the most ideal instructive results close by their non-First Country cohorts. We are assisting in making that a reality for thousands more First Nation students with this announcement.”
“It is not a secret that our children continue to encounter difficulties in gaining access to a wide range of supports from social services, health care, and education. Chief Cameron Catcheway of Skownan First Nation stated, “The importance of our children having full support, whether it be a breakfast program, school supplies, funding for recreation, and other programs—where we didn’t have support for a healthy education, we now have it.” Leaders of First Nations will continue to put in a lot of effort to meet the needs of our Nations’ children and youth everywhere they live in our territories.
The present declaration expands on declarations made in 2022 when SCO sent off Jordan’s Standard Organizers in the Winnipeg School Division and Brandon School Division. These are the new school divisions:
- Lord Selkirk School Division,
- Louis Riel School Division,
- Pembina Trails School Division,
- Portage la Prairie School Division,
- River East Transcona School Division,
- St. James-Assiniboia School Division,
- Seven Oaks School Division
“We are honoured to partner with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization to hire a Jordan’s Principle Coordinator, who will play a critical role in supporting First Nation children and their families in our division,” stated Darcy Cormack, Assistant Superintendent We look forward to working together to bring about positive change because this partnership is in line with our commitment to advancing equity and inclusion for all community members.
According to Colleen Roberts, Assistant Superintendent of the Pembina Trails School Division, “The Southern Chiefs’ Organization Jordan’s Principle Coordinator in Pembina Trails School Division is a valuable member of our school team who works with educators and families to access programs, services, and support to increase educational success for First Nation children.” The Pembina Trails School Division is pleased to collaborate with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization and to support the expansion of this crucial work to the divisional schools and families.
Sandra Herbst, Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer of the River East Transcona School Division, stated, “We are honoured to partner with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization.” In addition to assisting our First Nations families, our Coordinator will also assist our school division in better embodying the spirit of truth and reconciliation.
Additionally, SCO has coordinators who collaborate with the Specialized Services for Children and Youth (SSCY) Centre and the Children’s Hospital. The coordinator positions are fully funded by SCO.
Jordan River Anderson, a child from Norway House Cree Nation who was born with multiple disabilities in 1999, is the inspiration for the name Jordan’s Principle. When he was two years old, his doctors advised him that he could move out of the hospital and into a special facility for his medical needs. Jordan died at the age of five in the hospital without having spent a single night at home because the federal and provincial governments were unable to agree on who should pay for his home-based care.
Jordan’s Principle, a pledge to ensure that First Nation children would receive the products, services, and supports they require at the appropriate times, was approved by the House of Commons in 2007.
Jordan’s Principle has the potential to benefit our nations, families, and children. For many children and families who have participated in the program, it has already changed everything. Jordan’s Principal is significant, and Grand Chief Daniels concluded, “We pay tribute to the late Jordan River Anderson for the legacy he leaves for our First Nations children and youth today.” As we continue to assist our children in obtaining the services they require without denial, delay, or disruption, I am excited about what we can accomplish.
Graduation rates, according to SCO, will rise as a result of improved access to supports for success. According to data from 2019, the four-year high school graduation rate in Manitoba is 81.9%. The rate is 50.7 percent for Indigenous students, compared to 89.9 percent for non-Indigenous students.