Most Native agencies not mandated specifically for educational upgrading or training acknowledged that access depended on what the learners staff contacts know or dont know about the purpose and availability of Native literacy programs and services. If literacy program staff were able to inform more frontline staff of Native agencies with respect to Native literacy programs and services, we would experience a vastly increased number of informed adult learners. One former literacy practitioner stated that both programs provide services adequate to the current numbers using the literacy programs; if there were to be such an influx, either/both programs would need more resources to meet the demand. This adds to the issue of information and referral outside the Native literacy community.
Learners were asked What literacy services have you used in Toronto? Of the following places listed, most people checked off more than one place.
Council Fire and the Native Womens Resource Centre were checked off equally. They have both hosted the longest-running full-time Native literacy programs in Toronto. It would seem that learners are most familiar with these program locations. The next most-noted sites were the Native Canadian Centre and the Toronto District School Board, which may be a reference to their six-year partnership with the First Nations Adult Education Project. Other places were mentioned at least once and many were classes offered by the Mobile Literacy Services Project, which ran for one year.
Building a Vision of Native Literacy
Only two community members who could be categorized as current or potential learners attended the community meeting. None of the other past learners who were asked and who had agreed to participate in a discussion panel appeared. As a result, the total number of attendees, participants, and community members at that meeting was six. All were literacy workers, previously or presently involved in teaching.
None of the Native agency representatives present were able to confirm their knowledge of their agency ever participating in a visioning process that determined principles for Native literacy program and service development and delivery in the Greater Toronto Area.
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