Southern Chiefs’ Organization appoints Jordan’s Principle Coordinator to Brandon School Division

First Nations students in and around Brandon now have access to a much needed resource.

The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) has appointed a Jordan’s Principle Coordinator to the Brandon School Division. Superintendent Mathew Gustafson says it’s a welcome move.

“It allows our students to have a more positive experience at school. Supports things that we know that supports for families will lead to the ability for students to have a better experience at school,” he said.

Jordan’s Principle is named after Jordan River Anderson, a child from Norway House Cree Nation born in 1999 with multiple disabilities. When Jordan was two years old, doctors said he could leave the hospital and move to a special home for his medical needs.

However, the federal and provincial governments could not agree on who should pay for the home-based care and, as a result, Jordan passed away at the age of five having never left the hospital.

In 2007, the House of Commons passed Jordan’s Principle, a commitment to ensure First Nation children would receive the products, services, and supports they need, when they need them.

“We know our children continue to face barriers when it comes to accessing education, health care, and social service supports,” said SCO Grand Chief Daniels in a news release. “The new Jordan’s Principle Coordinator in western Manitoba will focus on ensuring First Nation students have equitable access to the full scope of services needed to ensure they achieve the best possible educational outcomes alongside their non-First Nation classmates.”

The new coordinator will help connect First Nations students with resources they need to succeed in school. This could including helping them connect with dental services, applying for their status cards, and accessing other family resources.

The SCO said it is already looking at bringing Jordan’s Principle Coordinators to other parts of the Westman area.

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