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11,000 Six Nations students out of school due to federal strike

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A strike by federal workers means students in Six Nations of the Grand River are out of school for the third straight day.

Five federal schools in the community have been closed since Wednesday following strike action by members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

The impacted schools include Jamieson, J.C Hill, Emily C General, I.L, and Oliver M Smith Elementary Schools, and students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

Six Nations of the Grand River elected council reports 11,000 children are impacted.

As of Friday, the schools don’t have a reopening date.

Indigenous Services Canada told CTV News in a statement, “Officials will continue working with First Nation leadership and families to ensure students are provided with opportunities to continue their learning during the labour disruption.”

Earlier in the week, Six Nations Elected Chief Mark Hill said in a statement, in-part: “The PSAC strike has impacted our Six Nations Of The Grand River community and has the SNGR elected council concerned for all of our members, students and families.”

Chief Hill had a press conference schedule for Friday afternoon, where he was to address the public about the strike but that was cancelled.

PARENTS REACT

Many parents in the community were left to make last minute child care plans.

For Olivia Forman’s family, that means relying on older siblings to watch younger siblings.

“It kind of sucks for them, because suddenly all their plans are just cancelled,” Forman told CTV News.

Robyn Joseph said she’s luckily she was already off work but her and her four kids are trying to find ways to fill their days.

“They’re home all day now and they’re fighting over the video games and so we’re going for a walk,” Joseph said. ““We had no school during COVID and these poor kids they have no internet down here, well it works sporadically – but all their friends, all my kids are behind, like so behind.”

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