Aboriginal Youth are the fastest growing demographic in Canada. This new generation of young Aboriginal people are actively shaping the present and future, and OLPC Canada acts as a vehicle to provide them with the technological tools they need to succeed.
To date, 3600 laptops have been distributed to Aboriginal youth in 7 provinces and 2 territories. Please see the program map for locations and visit the OLPC Canada blog for regular reports from the field.
Weledeh Catholic School
Urban location in Yellowknife
Simon Alaittuq School
Inuit community of Rankin Inlet
Ahousaht First Nation, Ahousaht
Gift Lake School
Métis Settlement, Gift Lake
Ochapowace First Nation, Whitewood
Home of OLPC Canada’s Technical Coordinator Justin Bear
Ochapowace First Nation
Otetiskiwin Kiskinwamahtowekamik (O.K. School)
Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, Nelson House
John C. Yesno Education Centre
Eabametoong First Nation, Eabamet Lake
J.R. Nakogee School
Attawapiskat First Nation, Attawapiskat
Kawenni:io Elementary School
Six Nations of the Grand River, Hagersville
Lloyd S. King Elementary
Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Hagersville
Whitefish River First Nation, Birch Island
Fort Albany, Ontario
Inuit community of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik
Newfoundland and Labrador
Jens Haven Memorial School
Inuit community of Nain, Labrador
Customized Learning Activities
OLPC Canada offers customized learning activities to address some of the challenges facing Aboriginal youth in Canada including literacy, physical health and mental health. Various experts have collaborated on the development of these activities and their support is greatly appreciated.
Owl Vision – Literacy
With progressive layers of difficulty, 60 activities take young users from basic knowledge of the alphabet through simple reading and writing and on to more complex comprehension and understanding. The program includes vowel and consonant recognition, word matching, sounds, and comprehension. Designed by Ekomini, the program awards points and allows children to track their scores as they would in an online game.
The Meeting Place – Mental Health, Substance Use and Well-Being
Using an interactive map quest, The Meeting Place addresses a variety of topics including: bullying, smoking, alcohol, solvents, family violence, suicide, drugs, depression and anxiety. The map walks children down paths that they may encounter in their own communities and daily lives, and introduces them to community settings and characters that represent lessons to be learned about making good choices. Content and functionality helps children identify where to go for help in various scenarios. Intended for children aged 10 and older, this program was developed and designed by CAMH in partnership with Bitcasters.
Swift Feet – Physical Fitness
A high energy and up-beat action program, Swift Feet encourages children to be active. 20 different exercises and 10 different dances set to music take users through high, moderate and low impact movements. A post-session quiz assesses each child’s knowledge of physical fitness and helps measure knowledge retention and improvement. This program was designed by ParticipACTION Canada in cooperation with Ophea.
Ekominiville – Financial Literacy
The basics of money management are offered through a series of activities and games addressing investment, want versus need, saving and the value of money. Children must manoeuvre through a small town with 4 different characters, gaining points along the way and experiencing various scenarios such as operating an ice cream business, work around the home, banking money and giving back to their community. This program was designed by Ekomini.
Healthy Heart – Food and Nutrition
Based on Canada’s Aboriginal Food Guide Healthy Heart helps children assess their recommended daily intake of food. Stylized bear avatars teach children to act as “chefs” to choose food from a menu that represents the correct daily intake and prepare meals for their customers, all while learning more about healthy eating. Canada’s Aboriginal Food Guide was provided by Health Canada.
Drum Beats – Science of Sound
Buffy Sainte-Marie walks children through the Nature of Sound and Native American/Aboriginal Instruments in order to introduce children to what sound is, the characteristic of sound, wavelengths and how sound travels. Hands-on experiments and a vocabulary resource provide students with a working knowledge of words and meaning, as well as an understanding of Indigenous, Aboriginal, Native American music and sound terminology. This program was modified for OLPC Canada by Buffy Sainte-Marie.
Future Generation – Virtual Library
Recognizing the importance of preserving stories and Aboriginal languages, the XO contains 25 books written by First Nation, Métis and Inuit authors. Some books are offered in various Aboriginal languages and one book is fully narrated. Children can choose any book in the library and read on their laptop by using the arrow keys on the keyboard to turn pages. This section was developed in consultation with GoodMinds.com.
Calm Waters – Water Safety
Through stories about frozen and free-flowing water, children learn the importance of safe water behaviour and begin to understand what can happen if poor choices are made. Quizzes test comprehension and emphasize good water safety choices. This program was designed by Safe Kids Canada.