Minister Strahl Delivers Action on First Nation Education
Burnt Church, New Brunswick, February 26, 2009 – The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today announced a new Grade K-8 school for Burnt Church as part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to accelerate infrastructure projects for First Nations under Canada’s Economic Action Plan.“We are taking action to ensure Aboriginal Canadians fully share in economic opportunities and we are putting particular emphasis on improving education for First Nation students in partnership with First Nations and provinces,” said Minister Strahl. “Investments to improve First Nation learning environments are essential to ensuring students have access to the best possible learning facilities that will help them thrive in their studies and fulfill their dreams.”
The new Grade K-8 school will consist of kindergarten classrooms; regular classrooms; a library/resource centre; an auditorium/gym; computer room; science room; health room; and administration and common areas. This school will replace the existing on-reserve facility that has experienced several fires over the past 15 years.
This project is part of the $200 million for new schools and major renovations included in the $1.4 billion investment for Aboriginal peoples under Canada’s Economic Action Plan.
“The community of Esgenoôpetitj (Burnt Church) has waited a long time for a new school. The heart of the community is our children and we must make every effort to provide the best possible education and that includes the best facilities available,” said Burnt Church Chief Wilbur Dedam. “We have made great strides in our education system by bringing in the best principal and staff and we have developed new partnerships with the New Brunswick School District No.16, through the provision of extra resources in remediation and enhanced curriculum.”
“This new school is so important for the Burnt Church community,” said MP O’Neill-Gordon. “As a former teacher here, I am pleased that our government is following through on its commitment to help improve the lives of the children of this community.”
The Government of Canada is taking action to improve the lives of First Nations and stimulate economic growth in First Nation communities through targeted infrastructure investments. Investments in school infrastructure projects will help ensure First Nation students have access to the same quality learning environments as other Canadian students.
Project costs will be identified following the competitive tendering process.
For more information, please contact:
Canada Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada