TORONTO — Former prime minister Paul Martin says a pilot project at two First Nations elementary schools in Ontario has led to dramatic improvements in reading and writing.

Martin says he was taken aback by the impressive results of the four-year literacy program at Walpole Island and Kettle and Stony Point First Nations.

The results show students were well behind provincial reading and writing standards when the study began in 2009, but exceeded those standards in some cases by 2014.

Martin says this is a positive example that other reserves around the country can emulate and hopes that the federal government will invest in similar programs.

He says this shows there is nothing holding First Nation children back if given the proper resources and teaching.

Since leaving politics in 2008, Martin has dedicated his time and efforts to improving education for aboriginal children in elementary and secondary schools.