Literacy key to reducing suicide rates in remote North: Bartleman
Ontario's lieutenant-governor on campaign to get books to aboriginal youth
Ontario's lieutenant-governor is appealing to the province's residents to donate new or gently used books to aboriginal children.
James Bartleman launched an appeal three years ago to set up libraries in remote communities.
This time, the lieutenant-governor's focus is on obtaining books for children and teens to top up these libraries.
Bartleman said too many aboriginal children living in remote communities do not know how to read and do not have ready access to libraries that are taken for granted elsewhere in the province.
"Without books, the children will never learn to read, will never develop the self-esteem that comes from obtaining an education, and will never escape the despair that fuels the suicide epidemic among children and youth that has been raging out of sight and out of mind in the north of our province," he said in a statement released Tuesday.
Bartleman said any surplus books will be provided to aboriginal communities elsewhere in Canada.
Since 2004, Bartleman has introduced four initiatives to promote aboriginal literacy, including the Lieutenant-Governor's Book Program, School Twinning Program, Summer Literacy Camps and Club Amick, a reading club for children in fly-in First Nations communities.
Books can be dropped off this month at any Ontario Provincial Police detachment or at the 17 Toronto police stations across the Greater Toronto Area.