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Reading, writing and summer camp in Eabametoong First Nation

What if every young Canadian worked as a counsellor at a First Nations camp? This is what their experience might look like

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Eabametoong First Nation (Fort Hope) is about 300 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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A $200 one-way plane ticket is the only way to reach Fort Hope in the summer. Twenty years ago, winter ice roads used to be open for three months at a time. Last year, they were open for only three weeks.

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The school in Fort Hope has two grades in each class and it has expanded into portables.

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Her Honour Ruth Ann Onley visited the literacy camp in Fort Hope this week at the same time as former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci, who is the lead provincial negotiator around natural resource development in the Ring of Fire region.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Children from 5 to 15 attend the Lieutenant-Governor’s Summer Literacy Camps.

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Taka Hoy, a fourth-year health sciences student at UOttawa, is in her second year as a camp counsellor.

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The camps are most in need of picture books targeted to four to six-year-old readers.

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Sherry Campbell, President and CEO of Frontier College leads children in a word game.

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Nick Parkinson is a newbie counsellor at the Eabametoong First Nation Camp. The counsellors are dropped off by plane at the end of June and picked up in mid-August.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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James Bartleman, former lieutenant-governor of Ontario, initiated the camps eight years ago.

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A former counsellor says every Canadian from the south should have the opportunity to work on a reserve.

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Approximately 1500 people live in Fort Hope. In the 2006 Census, the median age of residents was 17.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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