Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

July 14, 2009 11:30 ET

Government of Canada Announces Two New Schools for Lac Seul and Cat Lake First Nations

CAT LAKE FIRST NATION, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 14, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping to build two new schools to help ensure members of the Lac Seul and Cat Lake First Nations have access to quality learning environments. The Government's $33-billion Building Canada Plan ( has made this investment possible.

"We are continuing to make strong investments in projects like these two new schools, which will provide lasting, sustainable benefits for First Nation communities," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "We recognize the talent and potential in First Nations youth and believe that investing in a quality education is the key to success."

The school for the Lac Seul First Nation will be a new kindergarten-to-grade eight facility accommodating approximately 112 students. Construction will get underway in the fiscal year 2009-2010, and is expected to be finished in September 2011. The Lac Seul First Nation is located 15 kilometres west of Sioux Lookout.

Lac Seul First Nation Chief Clifford Bull said, "This new school will improve the educational outcomes for our community's students and represents hope for our young people, who will one day be our leaders."

The Government of Canada is also investing in the construction of a new school in the Cat Lake First Nation. This kindergarten to grade eight facility will accommodate approximately 138 students. Construction is scheduled for 2011, and is expected to be complete by September 2012. The Cat Lake First Nation is located approximately 179 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout.

"This new school will provide a sound educational environment for promoting the well being of Aboriginal students and helping them achieve and excel in every aspect of their learning," added Chief Mathew Keewaykapow of Cat Lake First Nation.

In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada took steps to augment infrastructure programming across Canada through the creation of the $33 billion Building Canada Plan, including an $8-billion extension to the Gas Tax Fund (GTF). An extension to the GTF this year allocates approximately $102 million for school construction in First Nations communities over a three-year period, beginning in 2009-2010 and ending in 2011-2012.

"This announcement is so very important for the communities of Lac Seul and Cat Lake," said Greg Rickford, MP for Kenora. "Our Government recognizes the importance of education in First Nations communities and we are delivering on our promises to improve the lives of Aboriginal Canadians."

These schools are two of eight new schools or school renovation projects funded through the Building Canada Plan. These projects are in addition to the 10 new schools and three major school renovation projects already announced this year under Canada's Economic Action Plan (

Project costs will be identified following the competitive tendering process.

This news release and backgrounders are also available on the Internet at:

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Nina Chiarelli
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    INAC Media Relations