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Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School

Vision: To empower future leaders with a strong cultural identity to be contributing members in a global society.

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In 1977, this school was founded on the vision of Pauline Shirt and Vern Harper who were looking for a safer school for their own child. They searched for a school that was culturally safe and nurtured their son’s Indigenous identity. But when a school couldn’t be found, they founded their own school known as Wandering Spirit Survival School, which was designated as an alternative school. In 1983, the school was recognized by the TDSB as a Cultural Survival/Native Way program instead of an alternative school. In 1989, the program was renamed First Nations School of Toronto (FNST). Then in 2018/19, the school returned to its original roots and after a renaming ceremony, and is now called Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School.

Kindergarten at Kapapamahchakwew-Wandering Spirit School is child-centred and culturally relevant. It provides Indigenous children with an opportunity to learn about Anishinaabe cultural traditions in a nurturing, caring environment. Children learn within a circle of caring that includes family, caregivers, community and the children themselves. Students are engaged holistically while learning about the teachings and ways of Anishinaabe Peoples through a physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual play-based program that incorporates music, songs, games, stories and dances.

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