Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

July 24, 2009 19:30 ET

Canada and Yukon Governments Help Construct Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Cultural Centre

KLUKSHU, YUKON--(Marketwire - July 24, 2009) - The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, announced today with the Honourable Premier Dennis Fentie and Chief Diane Strand of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, more than $14 million in joint funding for the construction of a new Champagne and Aishihik First Nations cultural centre in Haines Junction.

"Partnerships between governments are truly helping to increase economic opportunities and improve quality of life in rural communities," said Minister Toews. "This centre's potential to improve cultural well-being in the community is also tremendous, and Canada is proud to be a contributor to this inspiring project."

The cultural centre will be built on Champagne and Aishihik First Nations settlement land near Kluane National Park, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The centre is expected to provide broad economic and social development opportunities for the region.

"The Champagne and Aishihik Cultural Centre will significantly contribute both economically and socially to this community, and to Yukon," Premier Fentie said. "The success of this project was made possible by all three governments working together through joint funding programs like the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund."

Yukon and Canada are each providing $4 million toward the project's costs under the Canada-Yukon Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund program. Champagne and Aishihik First Nations is contributing the remaining funds through its own investment and lease agreements with Yukon Government and Parks Canada.

"Champagne and Aishihik First Nations is committed to preserving our culture and is excited to have this opportunity to build our cultural centre as a gathering place that recognizes and celebrates the cultural contributions and way of life of Champagne and Aishihik First Nations peoples - the places that we come from, the traditions and languages that we carry, and the arts that we practise and perform," said Chief Strand.

"Our citizens are looking forward to occupying a new facility that will be an environment creating lasting memories, where young people will learn the wisdom of our Elders, know our stories and legends, and assume responsibility to carry on our values."

For more information about the Government of Canada and Government of Yukon infrastructure programs, please visit or

This release and backgrounder are also available on the Internet at

Contact Information

  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations
    Line Gagnon
    Manager, Communications
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Yukon Region
    Regional Contacts:
    Emily Younker
    Cabinet Communications
    Brenda Wale
    Communications, Community Services
    Alexia McKinnon
    Cultural Centre Coordinator
    Champagne and Aishihik First Nations