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Alternative learning environment blends high school programs on Six Nations

Alternative learning environment blends high school programs on Six Nations

Nations – NewStart Community Based Learning Centre opens SIX NATIONS — A new space has opened its doors to high school students on Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit. Grand Erie District School Board held an open house to the new home for Nations – New Start Alternative Highschool programs on Monday. According to

  • Nations – NewStart Community Based Learning Centre opens

SIX NATIONS — A new space has opened its doors to high school students on Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit.

Grand Erie District School Board held an open house to the new home for Nations – New Start Alternative Highschool programs on Monday.

According to Jeannie Martin, Indigenous Education Coordinator for the GEDSB, three alternative learning programs were amalgamated into the space. Nations, Newstart and Turning Point now are all housed in the former RJ Supermarket at 2319 Third Line.

“Nations serves younger students in Grade 9 & 10. New Start is for older students,” said Martin. “Im really excited about this space and the opportunity it provides in terms of us being able to provide culturally based programming.”

Students come to Nations-New Start through referrals at Hagersville High School.

“In the past we typically looked at alternative education as an option for students when a traditional high school isn’t working anymore. But I hope that this becomes a program that even those students that are doing fine in the main Highschool will see what’s happening here and they will want to come here,” said Martin.

Martin says the school has a cultural mentor, Carmen Thomas, delivering a pilot program specific to the Nations-NewStart location. Thomas arranges for traditional knowledge keepers from both Haudenosaunee and Annishnabe backgrounds to bring their teachings into the classroom.

Teachers at the new school say they have a large co-op program, allowing indigenous students an opportunity to gain high school credits learning in a workplace environment.

The school currently houses nearly 100 students combined but officials say with ongoing enrolment throughout the year that number changes frequently.

Student support services are being provided in co-operation with Six Nations Children’s Mental Health program.

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow, Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations, is Outreach Editor for the Two Row Times. Her popular column, Scone Dogs and Seed Beads brings weekly thoughts on current day indigenous identity. Nahnda has been a journalist with the Two Row Times since it's founding in 2013. She studied Journalism, Human Rights and Indigenous Studies at Laurier University. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who also brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a Haudenosaunee cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado. Nahnda is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

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