June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day across our nation and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) chose this date to aptly name the new elementary school in the Fernbank community. This new school will be named Shingwaakon Public School to recognize our Algonquin Territory.
Pronounced shing-wah-kon, the name, meaning “little pine,” comes from the Kitigan Zibi dialect of the Algonquin language. The school name is rooted in the belief that the pines in the Algonquin Territory are some of the strongest, straightest and tallest. Their branches are longer facing the east, welcoming each new day as a new beginning. They are a resource and can be used for sustenance. “Little” reflects the young learners who will be attending this school who will grow stronger as they learn and discover.
The name was chosen following consultation through the spring of 2022 with students, parents, staff and members of the Fernbank community (located south of Highway 417 between Kanata and Stittsville). Additional input was provided from the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee along with an Algonquin Elder and Knowledge Keeper.
“I would like to thank everyone who took part in our journey to find a name for our new school,” said Todd Thompson, principal of Shingwaakon Public School. “Through this process, participants indicated a strong sense of support for an Algonquin name, an important step in work towards reconciliation. An Algonquin-named school will provide rich learning opportunities for students and the school community about the knowledge, history and culture of Indigenous people.”
At the OCDSB, this day serves as an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, families, staff members, and community members who enrich our school environment with their brilliance, wisdom and knowledge.
Located at 480 Cope Drive, Shingwaakon Public School will offer dual track English and Early French Immersion programming for approximately 600 students from kindergarten through to Grade 6.
Construction on the new school began in September 2021 and it is expected to open during the 2022-2023 school year. The students who will attend the school are drawn from communities presently served by John Young Elementary School, Stittsville Public School and Westwind Public School.
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