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Original children’s e-storybook featuring land-based learning lead Nimkii Lavell

    There is nothing more exciting than watching a child read a book. As a parent, I read many books to my kids. There is great value in children’s books. It is the gateway to imagination and higher education. My son who is much older now has a goal of reading 100 books this year. He is a voracious reader. So far he has read over 50 books and counting. A great accomplishment in my opinion.

    It is a daunting task to encourage reading in remote parts of the world. By chance, I came across this amazing children’s e-book called Ice Fishing With Nimkii by Nimkii Lavell. The book came to life with the help of responsible companies such as Innovations for Learning Canada and Symcor’s sponsorship, they want to help kids read and at the same time learn about their traditional background. I got to learn about gill net ice fishing and the different names of fish in Anishinaabemowin. I can now count to ten Anishinaabemowin. Emily Côté the artist of Ice Fishing With Nimkii delights readers with her warm soft-colored hues of joyful glee.

    Download the storybook here:

    Innovations for Learning Canada

    Press Release: Innovations for Learning (IFL) Canada, a global non-profit that works to level the playing field for emerging readers in high-need communities, and Symcor, a leading Canadian organization that enables secure data exchanges, expand their partnership with the development of a new original storybook series.

    In partnership with the Wiikwemkoong Board of Education (WBE), Ice Fishing with Nimkii is one of the first in a new original e-storybook series IFL is co-creating with communities and corporate partners.

    Available via IFL’s TutorMate platform, the e-storybook reflects the experiences of the students that IFL serves and explores priority themes identified by Indigenous education leaders such as Indigenous Innovation, land-based activities, and local leaders.

    Ice Fishing with Nimkii Storybook Page (CNW Group/Innovations for Learning Canada)

    Ice Fishing with Nimkii tells the true story of Nimkii Lavell, the land-based Learning Lead with the Wiikwemkoong Board of Education, who ties education to traditional Anishinaabek outdoor activities.

    The new e-book allows teachers, students, Early Literacy Interventionists, and volunteers to advance reconciliation and language revitalization by exploring the language of the region together with audio clips of elders and knowledge keepers pronouncing the Anishinaabemowin words in the story – all while advancing early literacy skills in these young students.

    To commemorate this innovative partnership between a national corporation, a non-profit, and a progressive First Nations school board, Nimkii Lavell, Wiikwemkoong Board of Education’s Land-Based Learning Lead, will be presented with the published Ice Fishing with Nimkii storybook at a celebration at Wiikwemkoong Junior School on Manitoulin Island on Tuesday, June 14, at 12 PM EDT.

    Jacob and a student (CNW Group/Innovations for Learning Canada)

    Through Symcor’s sponsorship, all students at Wiikwemkoong Junior School will also receive a printed copy of the storybook as part of the end-of-year celebrations. The book presentation will be live streamed on the Wiikwemkoong Board of Education’s YouTube channel and media are invited to attend the live event at the Wiikwemkoong Junior School.

    About Innovations for Learning Canada
    Innovations for Learning (IFL) Canada partners with communities and corporate sponsors to level the playing field for emerging readers by increasing their beginning reading abilities. Early Literacy Interventionists (trained paraprofessionals) are hired from partner communities and use IFL’s online literacy platform to provide daily 1:1 instruction (“high-impact” tutoring) to help children develop a strong phonics foundation. In the first program of its kind in Canada, IFL also matches struggling early readers with volunteer business professionals who use the IFL platform to read virtually together.

    About Wiikwemkoong Board of Education: The Wiikwemkoong Board of Education (WBE) is a leader in First Nation student achievement. The WBE provides exceptional educational experiences and services to nearly 1,000 students of all ages. The WBE is responsible for the job of nurturing the learning spirit and providing a high-quality education in its only Child Care Centre facility, in two elementary schools (grades 1-8), and one secondary school. The WBE provides education for students in Murray Hill, Kaboni, South Bay, Rabbit Island, and the village of Wiikwemkoong. The WBE also provides unique services such as Anishinaabemowin Curriculum development through the Wiikwemkoong Anishinaabemowin Kinoomaagewin (WAK) department along with cultural and land-based learning activities in all their schools from K-12.

    About Symcor: Symcor enables secure data exchanges and supporting business processes to help clients succeed in an evolving digital world. Trusted by Canada’s largest institutions for over 25 years to support their digital transformations, Symcor aligns industry participants to solve common challenges in the most effective and efficient way. For more information, visit

    About Emily Côté, AKA Furu: Originally a fine art graduate, Emily decided to further her education and pursue illustration! She has a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Windsor and a BAA in Illustration from Sheridan College. Her favourite things include houseplants, 70% dark chocolate, and long walks in the forest. Her artwork deals with the magic in the mundane and the fantastical quality of nature. She has a passion for narrative work such as comics and character design.  She likes to combine traditional media like watercolour and coloured pencils with digital methods. See Emily’s art at

    Anishinaabemowin (also called Ojibwemowin, the Ojibwe/Ojibwa language, or Chippewa) is an Indigenous language, generally spanning from Manitoba to Québec, with a strong concentration around the Great Lakes. Elders share that the term Anishinaabemowin acknowledges the creation story of the Ojibwe people: “Anishinaabe” means “the spirit that is lowered down from above,” “-mo” refers to expression through speech, and “-win” refers to the life energy within, used to do so. Linguists also explain that “-win” is a nominalizer that turns the verb Anishinaabemo (“he/she is speaking the Anishinaabe language”) into a noun. According to the 2016 Census, 28,130 people are listed as speaking Anishinaabemowin.

    Tony M.