The first language of the people is Anishininiimowin (also referred to as "Oji-Cree"). The communities want to maintain their language, culture and values. They also want their children to acquire and learn English as a second language and to understand and appreciate other cultures.
In order to fulfill these expectations, a bilingual/bicultural program entitled "LANGUAGES TOGETHER" has been developed.
The LANGUAGES TOGETHER program of Shibogama Education schools is designed to promote bilingual and bicultural skills. It is based on outcomes developed by each community and guidelines from the Ontario Ministry of Education (Ontario Curriculum).
The emphasis in the primary program is on developing fluency in oral and written Anishininiimowin. English is introduced as a second language in Grade 1 and used as the language of instruction for part of the Grade 3 and 4 program. In the junior and intermediate programs, the focus is on developing English fluency while continuing to maintain and improve first language skills. Curriculum content is closely related to the culture and environment of the communities.
The LANGUAGES TOGETHER program is a draft, working document, developed during the 1996/97 school year by elders, other community members and the school staff in each community. In will continue to be revised, expanded and improved by the community member and the staff of each school, in the years to come.