Lieutenant Governor spreads importance of literacy in Fort St. John

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

He was also presented with a pair of moccasins, and one of the strings of paper cranes the students folded last year. Point is the first Aboriginal person to serve as Lieutenant Governor in B.C., something he says has been well received by the communities.

"When I came into this position, the native people have been ecstatic; they've been just extremely happy about this kind of recognition for their communities," he says. "I see elders all over the province and they're over the moon that someone from the First Nations is in this place."

His Honour spoke to the students at the assembly, answering a number of questions about what he does, as well as more than a few curious ones about the Queen. He says one of his goals in visiting the Energetic City is to create an understanding of what his role is.

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"When I took office five years ago, we'd go to schools and ask kids, and even the teachers had no idea what the Lieutenant Governor was really all about," he says. "So I've been trying in my own way to simply increase our awareness and create and understanding of how our government works."

Point also comes with a strong hope of spreading literacy across the province. His office runs a literacy program that encourages students to write a story based on illustrations he provides, and send it to him. He will read each story, and in return, the children receive a small gift.

"By encouraging literacy from my office, it brings a new bend to it, a different idea of using literacy as a way of increasing your awareness of the world, getting your job potential increased and getting you actually tuned into what's going on around you," he argues. "It's just been phenomenal, the number of stories that we've received back. They're in the thousands of stories. Kids have written from all over B.C. so it's been a pretty successful program."

It's been over 40 years since His Honour has been been to Fort St. John, and he says he's impressed with how the community has grown. His tour this morning included a trip to the new hospital, as well as the Energetic Learning Campus. Point says meeting students is one of the best parts of his job, and he was inspired by what he saw at the ELC.

"I like coming out to the schools, and to see the students in their own environment and to see how the schools are doing. It's been part of my job that I've enjoyed the most," he says. "The whole philosophy and the concept that's [at the ELC] is just something that I think would be beneficial for all the schools to do actually in British Columbia. I think it's great. It helps the kids to come to school, to stay in school, to continue learning and get turned on to school."

The Lieutenant Governor's day in Fort St. John will conclude tonight at the Fort St. John Legion where he will present Diamond Jubilee Medals to 60 cadets.

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Photos from his one-day trip are below:

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