Canada’s new Government Invests more than $50 Million to Improve First Nations Learning Environments

by NationTalk on April 6, 2007847 Views

CALGARY, April 5 – The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today announced an investment of more than $50 million for school infrastructure projects across Canada.

“Canada’s New Government believes that First Nations learners deserve the best possible facilities in which they can learn and thrive,” said Minister Prentice. “We are proud to make this investment to ensure young people across Canada can attend healthy and safe schools that measure up to standards in other parts of the country.” This $50 million investment will be used to help fund 12 projects across Canada, ranging from the construction of new schools, renovation projects and supporting design and planning phases for education infrastructure.

Projects taking place across the country that highlight some of the key work being done to provide First Nations students with improved learning environments include:

SunChild School – $10.75 million over three years, toward the expansion of the current Kindergarten to Grade 12 school at Sunchild First Nation.

Big Horn Ta Otha School – $12 million over three years, toward the construction of a new school to replace the existing collection of classroom portables at Stoney Tribe First Nation.

Morley School – $2.48 million over three years, toward the construction of a new gymnasium at Stoney Tribe’s Morley elementary school.

Pelican Narrows High School – $220,000 toward the initial design work on a proposed renovation/addition to the school located in Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan.

James Smith School Renovation – $500,000 toward the major renovation, including a roof repair, located in the community of James Bay in central Saskatchewan.

Unamen Shipu – $270,000 toward the construction of a fourplex to accommodate teachers that come from outside the community. The remote community, on the lower north shore, is not accessible by road.

Opitciwan – $60,000 to fund initial plans and specifications to implement a new ventilation system in the elementary school. The community of Opitciwan is located in Haute-Mauricie.

Matimekush – $100,000 to accelerate the rehabilitation project of its school, which is currently in the construction phase. The community is located in a remote area bordering Labrador, NL and is only accessible by air or train.

Whitefish River First Nation – $2.3 million toward the design and construction of a new school, in the Objibway community located about 70 kilometres southwest of Sudbury.

Shubenacadie and Waycobah Schools – $7.5 million toward the construction of two new schools over two years. The new on-reserve schools will be constructed to accommodate Kindergarten to Grade 12 programs.

Shubenacadie Band is located 28 kilometres southwest of Truro, Nova Scotia and Waycobah First Nation is located 70 kilometres west of4 vf Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Sheshatshiu Innu School – $14.6 million over three years, toward the construction of a new school. Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation is located 40 kilometres southwest of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador.

For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice, (819) 997-0002; Media Relations, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, (819) 953-1160

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