The Lieutenant Governor's Indigenous Summer Reading Camp program began in 2005 as a pilot partnership between the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Hon. James Bartleman—a member of the Mnjikaning First Nation—and five fly-in First Nations in northern Ontario. Since then, this successful program has expanded to over 100 communities and serves thousands of Indiginous children and youth across the country.
The program supports FNMI student success in school by complementing the formal education system and responding to a need for quality supports in rural, remote, and isolated communities, especially during the summer. The camps prevent summer learning loss—the decline in student performance between school years—and promote a love of reading and learning so that students return to school better prepared to learn and succeed. Campers are provided with safe and supportive learning environments where they take part in many types of fun and educational activities, including reading, storytelling, writing, arts and crafts, music, science experiments, field trips, and more: all with carefully embedded elements of literacy and numeracy. Campers are encouraged to take ownership of their learning and feel comfortable talking about gaps in their knowledge; making mistakes and trying new things; asking questions, etc.