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April 27, 2020

May 13, 2020

To: Principals and Resource Teachers
MFNERC Member/MFNSS First Nations Schools,
MFNERC Partner First Nations Schools (Jordan’s Principle Services) 

Please be advised that the Special Education/Clinical Support Services Department is reaching out to students and their parents to continue to provide clinical services during the travel ban due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical services staff have completed community-specific (internal) case conferences, and our staff has started reaching out directly to families in a coordinated manner. Staff have also been in contact with as many school staff as we have been able to reach. 

Please be advised that we can continue to provide clinical services/consultation via telephone and/or video therapy using a secure network, provided children and their families have access to the necessary hardware/software in their homes. An alternative could be if resource teachers were able (while respecting social distancing), to see students and their parents in the school and provide the Internet connection and computer to facilitate an interaction between the clinician and family. 

Our clinicians are also busy creating homework/therapy packages so that children can continue working on therapy goals with their parents at home. All clinical disciplines are contributing to the MFNERC Remote Learning Hub and are working on school-wide, family-based, and individual intervention plans for First Nations students with additional learning needs. The remote learning hub is collection of resources and activities that can be accessed by teachers, support staff, parents and students and is accessible on the MFNERC homepage at 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Don Shackel, Assistant Director of Special Education, and main contact for Clinical Services at (204) 791-3139. If you or the parents would like to request help at this time in specific areas, please contact the leads in the following areas toll free at 1-866-319-4857: 

  • Rachel North Wavey, Area Team Lead, SLP and Literacy Coaches,, ext. 2079 
  • Christy Hemmerling, Area Team Lead OT, PT, and URIS Nurse, ext. 2119 Page 2 of 2 
  • Adeline Mercredi, Area Team Lead School Psych, DHH, and Student Wellness Support,, ext. 2087 
  • Marlene Lenton, Literacy Coaches Discipline Lead,, ext. 2103 
  • Chantal Wiebe, School Psychology Discipline Lead,, ext. 2214 

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and please note that MFNERC is here to continue to support you, your staff, students and parents of your First Nation school. 



Lorne C. Keeper

Executive Director

2020-April 30 

To: Education Directors, Principals, and Chiefs & Councils
Manitoba First Nations Schools 

RE: Remote Learning Hub for Educators, Parents, Student Guardians 

Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) is modifying its services and supports to address the changing education environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MFNERC's priority is to help educators with their Remote Learning planning and preparation. Remote Learning is any guided educational activity where students are separated by both time and location. MFNERC will support teachers in the development of remote learning packages and will also provide additional resources to assist teachers and parents/guardians as they engage in the remote learning process. 

MFNERC recognizes this plan is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each First Nation is unique and will need different supports based on Internet infrastructure, access to the school, availability of school staff in the First Nation, access to the community from outside organizations, and other factors. This is currently a learn-as-we-grow process and is in development to provide supports to all during this time. 

However, the Remote Leaning Hub has also been in the making by MFNERC to provide services that will continue to support students beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The Remote Learning Hub will be the distribution location for general learning supports such as videos, documents, activities, and related announcements. The Remote Learning Hub is a dynamic portal that will continue to evolve, and the online activity schedule will be updated every Thursday morning. The Remote Learning Hub can be accessed by all First Nations in Manitoba via the MFNERC website at 

Teachers seeking support can contact the Department Directors via email, which will then be forwarded to the appropriate staff member. We strive to meet First Nations educators' and student guardians’ needs, and any recommendations regarding the Remote Learning Hub or services can be forwarded to the Director of Operations at 



Lorne C. Keeper

Executive Director

March 31, 2020


Manitoba First Nations Schools

Re: Update COVID-19


As you are all aware, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Grand Chief Arlen Dumas declared a state of emergency on March 17, 2020 and expressed support for the province with their state of emergency as long as the measures respect First Nations' autonomy and decision-making processes.

The March 31st announcement by Premier Brian Pallister and Manitoba Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen stated that all non-critical services in Manitoba must close for two weeks beginning April 1st in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective immediately, all MFNERC Offices will remain closed until further notice. MFNERC staff will provide online support to school staff to ensure that student learning will continue during this time.

The health, safety, and well-being of our students, First Nations members and employees is our top priority and we are following the lead of Canadian Public Health Authorities. We understand that information is being provided by local Health Centres and authority remains with the leadership in regards to ongoing action.

MFNERC will continue to monitor developments and keep you informed. We understand that this plan may create hardship for First Nations members, and we appreciate your patience, cooperation, and understanding as we work to ensure everyone's safety.

If there are any concerns, please contact me via email at



Lorne C. Keeper

Executive Director


March 13, 2020 


Manitoba First Nations Schools 

Re: COVID 19 – Latest Update 

As per letter dated March 10, 2020, this letter is to inform our First Nations students, members, and employees, about the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba. At this time, the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) is cancelling all work related travel to First Nations until further notice. 

Effective immediately the following activities are cancelled: 

  • MFNERC gatherings, meetings, and training sessions, 
  • Both the annual MFNERC Science Fair and the Lighting the Fire Education Conference. 

The following teacher training/professional development activities are postponed: 

  • Resource Inclusive Special Education, 
  • Masters Inclusive Language and Literacy, 
  • School Psychology, 
  • Rehabilitation Assistant Training, 
  • and all other cohorts. 

MFNERC will continue to provide services via tele-conferencing, video-conferencing, and other online meeting solutions, where possible. MFNERC will provide updates on service provision on an on-going basis. 

MFNERC will work with MFNSS First Nations to determine if school closures are appropriate. Further, we encourage all schools to work collaboratively with First Nations leadership and local health authorities to determine school closures. 

MFNERC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation to ensure the health and safety of our staff and the First Nations we serve. If you have any questions please contact the appropriate departmental director. 

Thank you for your cooperation. 


Lorne C. Keeper 

Executive Director

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