Pontiac School | Naanan biinash Nshwaaswi bemidnisijig


lorraine pontiac principal feb 2018


As the new Principal, I would like to say K’Chi Miigwech to all our staff, our Education Leadership and the Wikwemikong Board of Education (WBE) who have provided generous guidance, support and positive insight as we move forward on our learning journey at the Wikwemikong Pontiac School.  And, to all our parents, guardians and students, I welcome your suggestions and/or concerns as we work together to keep the lines of communication open, keep student learning a priority and work collaboratively to reach education goals.  To that end, we have begun to re-establish the Parent Council, and I hope you will consider joining as this Council is an ideal place to voice your ideas.

Our Teaching Staff and Education Assistants continue to work hard to cover the numerous subject areas of the Ontario Ministry of Educations’ curriculum expectations for the Primary and Junior Divisions for all our students.  We are preparing our students for transition to

high school and a life-long education.  With support from the WBE, we continue to have allotted time to collaborate within school teams or Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s). We utilize our First Nations Student Success Program Specialists in Literacy, Numeracy and Student Success. They work with teachers and students, assist in professional development sessions throughout the year with individualized assessments, delivery of lessons, new initiatives and resources. Our Grade 6 students also participate in the EQAO evaluations as part of our assessments for learning. As our IT department grows we have more resource people to assist teachers using technology in the classrooms.  We enjoy the services of a dynamic Special Education Resource Teacher team.  Our Student Counsellor will collaborate with our new Student Navigator who will specialize in student wellness. Other community counsellors round out the team.

We are fortunate to have the services of the Wiikwemkoong Anishinaabemowin Kinoomaagewin (WAK) curriculum department, the Wikwemikong Heritage Organization and the Elder Mentorship Program among others to help us develop language fluency and effective teaching strategies for teaching Anishinaabemowin and promote cultural teachings.

Sports, Field Trips and extracurricular activities propel our students and bring meaning to their academic learning. Throughout the year we offer extensive programming which includes:  Cross-Country, Three Pitch, Flag Football, Robotics Club, Chess Club, Music Club, Co-ed Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, Track and Field. We collaborate with our local agencies to offer specialized activities in harvesting, trapping, fishing and winter indigenous games. Jump Start is an early morning physical activity program beginning at 8:00 a.m. and runs until the bell. Students enjoy a variety of healthy foods offered in our daily Breakfast Program.

With all this support in place, the Wikwemikong Pontiac School offers world-class education while maintaining our Odawa/Pottawatomi/Ojibwe heritage in our own community.

As your Principal, I am very excited and committed to academic excellence and in facilitating learning opportunities for all students.  Mii Owi.

 lorraine signature

Mrs. Lorraine Pitawanakwat, Principal

“Who dares teach must never cease to learn.”

~ John Cotton Dana


The Wikwemikong Pontiac School was constructed in 1958 and of interesting note became the site of the community’s water distribution once construction was complete.    Pontiac School  is a one-story building that has since experienced additions to accommodate higher student populations;  one in 1963, which was the “T” shaped addition to the east side of the building, the gymnasium in 1985 and finally, another addition in 2007 to the North side of the building.

Pontiac School was named after a famous Odawa war Chief and leader named Pontiac.    Pontiac’s formidable role as a daring actor and determined spirit in a Great Lake battle, rightly named Pontiac’s War, which forced the British to recognize Aboriginal rights and also led to the Royal Proclamation of 1763‎ and the Treaty of Niagara in 1764.  For this reason, Chief Pontiac serves as the inspiration for the school’s name and the amazing fact that Pontiac’s descendants do call Wikwemikong their home!

Today, Pontiac School students exhibit ambition and determination in their own brave way, striving for academic success, cultural retention and athletic prowess in the spirit of Chief Pontiac.



Download the Handbook

Guiding Principles

  • Honour and up hold the board’s mission statement
  • Encourage the participation of all community members in the educational process.
  • Continue to update the skills and knowledge of those individuals responsible for delivery of education
  • Will establish clear and fair policies that respect protocol and communication
  • Keep abreast of changes in Education and Environment by participating and liaising with local, regional, provincial, and federal education agencies
  • Establish and maintain lines of authority
  • Ensure community member’s educational needs are met
  • Submit an annual report to Chief and Council for acceptance
  • Recognition of the need to have annual staff appraisals
  • Educational funds will be used for recognized and approved education programs
  • Promote a healthy team oriented environment


programs_headerOverview coming soon!

We had 11 students from the Pontiac School participate in the Manitoulin Bus Patroller Seminar on Wednesday November 3, 2010 at the Central Manitoulin Public School Mindemoya Ontario.

The training included topics such as:

  • General duties of a Bus Patroller – Constable Al Boyd – OPP
  • Emergency First Aid – (Paramedics)
  • Emergency Fire Safety – (Fire Department)
  • Safety videos – Constable Al Boyd – OPP
The Aboriginal Shield Program is a substance abuse prevention initiative designed specifically for Aboriginal youth. The program content was developed in partnership with the Nechi Institute on Alcohol and Drug Education and is designed to supplement existing substance abuse education programs. The NGWAAGAN GAMIG (Rainbow Lodge) may use this culturally-specific package to educate Aboriginal youth about substance abuse issues.
Resource material for the program consists of four teaching modules — Aboriginal culture, substance abuse, prevention, and informed and responsible decision-making.

Established in 1996, Roots of Empathy (ROE) is an award winning evidence-based classroom program that has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasingly empathy. Working in partnership, the ROE program reaches elementary children from Kindergarten to Grade 8. In Canada, the program is delivered in English and French and reaches rural, urban, and remote communities including Aboriginal communities. Roots of Empathy is also delivered internationally in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Research results from National and International evaluations of ROE indicate significant reductions in aggression and increases in pro-social behavior.

Our mission is to build caring, peaceful and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults. The focus of ROE in the long term is to build the capacity of the next generation for responsible citizenship and responsive parenting. In the short term, ROE focuses on raising levels of empathy, resulting in more respectful and caring relationships and reduced levels of bullying and aggression.

This program helps the grade eight students to experience many of the responsibilities as the parent of a new infant. As a temporary parent, each student will provide care for computerized infant which must be supervised by the student. It is their responsibility to tend to the Baby’s needs. The outcome of this program is to have the students understand the consequences of sex when they are not ready and the cost of raising a child, the emotional and physical commitments and an understanding of how much time raising the baby takes away from being a teenager.

Parents are encouraged to help by providing emotional support and treating the Baby as if it were real. Offering advice but the student should do the actual work of caring for the Baby.

These computerized babies are taken home over night by each student and returned to school the following day. These babies are programmed and will reveal at what exact care they have through. For example, was the baby fed? Was the baby crying long? Or was the baby mishandled?

Walking the Path is an educational initiative that focuses on teaching Native and non Native students about the history, beliefs and cultural traditions of Aboriginal peoples. Developed and supported by the Ontario Provinicial Police (OPP) and using Anishnabe cultural teachings as a foundation, it is designed as a way of providing all students with insight into Native culture, and Native youth in particular, as a way to instill pride in who they are and where they come from.

Walking the Path addresses the belief that young people who have the self-respect and self-confidence to function independently are better prepared to cope with negative influences or peer pressure. Individuals who feel good about themselves are much more likely to respect others as well as the rules and laws of their community. A positive self-image is essential for a person to function as a responsible and contributing member of society.

Walking the Path involves the delivery of youth empowerment strategies; promotes self-concept, self-esteem and respect for others; and deals with issues such as healing from trauma, abuse and racism, and combating stereotypes, prejudices and biases. Walking the Path has grown into an award-winning youth empowerment initiative.


Wikwemikong Pontiac School Staff February 2018

Tel: 859-3133 Fax: 859-2748

Principal Lorraine Pitawanakwat
Secretary Randy Recollet (Interm)
Physical Education Deana Debassige
Librarian Janet McComb
S.E.R.T. Cathy Fox
Native Language Juanita Pheasant
Social Counsellor Peggy Manitowabi
Music Sheldon Walters
Educational Assistants Jacob Fox
Marie Ann EnosseRachel MaiangowiTerri-Lynn WemigwansIlla Proulx
Grade 5 Robin Cooper
Teresa Peltier
Grade 6 Dyann Pulkkinnen
Natalie Eshkawkogan
Grade 7 Cathy Harley
Barbara SheppardStephen Granville
Grade 8 Adrien Rampersad
Sharon Lavallee

Grade 4                                                   Miranda Trudeau

Dawn Wemigwans

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