Minister Strahl Congratulates Lytton First Nation On Grand Opening Of Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux School
LYTTON FIRST NATION, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Sept. 11, 2009 – The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, congratulated Lytton First Nation on the grand opening of its new school today.”Canada is proud to be a partner with Lytton First Nation in the construction of the community’s new school,” said Minister Strahl. “This investment of over $13 million will support better outcomes for learners from the Lytton First Nation and neighbouring First Nation communities.”
“It’s been a long journey to get to where we are today. Many Chiefs of the Lytton First Nation envisioned our own school to meet the needs of our children. Thank you to the former Board of Regents and to the present school board for paving the road towards our own school,” said Chief Janet Webster. “Today, the reward of seeing our children happy wipes out all the hardships we have encountered in the past.”
The Government of Canada contributed approximately $13.5 million for this project, the most spent by the federal government to date on a First Nations’ cultural school in BC. In addition to this investment, Lytton First Nation contributed financially to build the gymnasium.
The new 3824 square metre facility replaces the existing portables. The Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux School can continue to deliver culturally-based education to its 273 K to 12 Nlaka’pamux students from Lytton, Siska, Kanaka, Skuppah, Nicomen and Cook’s Ferry First Nations.
The Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux school project officially started in 2002, but the vision began long before that and was driven by the leadership of the community. The community had selected the St. George’s Lands as the location for the school; however the lands were not part of the reserve at the time. The Indian residential school that serviced the Fraser Valley was situated on St. George’s Lands and had been granted to the Lytton First Nation by the Church.
Lytton First Nation, located along the Trans-Canada Highway between the towns of Hope and Cache Creek in British Columbia, has approximately 1850 registered members, 787 of whom live on-reserve.
This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca
For more information, please contact
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada