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Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School


In 1977, this school’s humble beginnings were founded on the vision of Pauline Shirt and Vern Harper who were looking for a safer school for their own child. They searched for a school that was culturally safe and nurtured their son’s Indigenous identity. But when a school couldn’t be found, they founded their own school known as “Wandering Spirit Survival School”, which was designated as an alternative school. In 1983, the school was recognized by the Toronto Board as a Cultural Survival/Native Way program instead of an alternative school. In 1989, the program was renamed First Nations School of Toronto (FNST). Then in 2018/19, the school returned to its original roots and after a renaming ceremony, and is now called Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School.

Kindergarten at Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School

The Kindergarten program at Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School is a child-centred and culturally relevant. For First Nations people it provides an opportunity for Indigenous children to learn about Anishinaabe cultural traditions in a nurturing, caring environment. Children learn within a circle of caring that includes family, caregivers, community and the children themselves.

Children learn about the teachings and ways of their people through becoming engaged physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually in play based programs that include music, songs, games, stories and dances of Anishinaabe culture.

Children are engaged wholistically (physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually) in play based programs that include music, songs, games, stories and dances of Anishinaabe culture.

To register your child, please visit the website of Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School and email or call the office.

Pauline Shirt
Pauline Shirt

Vern Harper
Vern Harper

Our Mission
To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and well-being
and to acquire the knowledge, skills
and values they need to become responsible, contributing members of
a democratic and sustainable society.
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