Backpacks for Deer Lake

Thank you to everyone who donated to “Backpacks for Deer Lake”, the first of our 60th Anniversary North of 60 projects, the response was overwhelming!You donated 195 backpacks packed full of:

  • 23 packs of sticky notes
  • 152 Binders
  • 126 packs of pencil crayons
  • 202 packs of lined paper
  • 261 note books
  • 89 packs of crayons
  • 81 packs of markers
  • 290 erasers
  • 175 packs of pencils
  • 78 rulers
  • 15 geometry sets
  • 486 duo tangs
  • 38 packs of highlighters
  • 230 glue sticks
  • 107 pencil cases
  • 137 packs of pens
  • 40 pairs of scissors
  • 24 calculators
  • 151 Pencil sharpeners
  • 20 tape
  • 30 glue bottles
  • 10 staplers

Plus snacks, clothing, shoes, combs, craft items, books, lunch bags, toothbrushes, and personal items. Every pocket of every backpack was stuffed, and many families wrote notes wishing the recipients “good luck” for the new school year. The back packs were picked up earlier this week and are on their way north to be distributed. Thank you so much for embracing the children of Deer Lake as St. Francis would have.

Deer Lake is an Oji-Cree speaking First Nation reserve located several hundred kilometres north of Thunder Bay. It is located on Treaty #5 territory of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Prices for goods such as backpacks and school supplies are double, even triple, here. We do not have access to a variety of items here as well. We have one store on this reserve and when it comes to paying for food or school supplies, food wins out. Our students deserve the best education possible. These students live in Ontario, but due to historical injustices they have been denied the right to a good education. The backpack may be a small gesture but it will make a huge significance in their way of learning and developing. With your help, our students will have agency towards their own education. They will have access to the same materials as a student in the south.

You can also find out more about this project and other initiatives by visiting