Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

July 20, 2009 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Delivers Expanded School Facilities in Saskatchewan First Nations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 20, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping to expand school facilities to ensure members of the Red Earth and Ahtahkakoop First Nations have access to quality learning environments. These investments were made possible through the Government's $33-billion Building Canada Plan.

"Our Government recognizes the talent and potential of First Nations youth. By ensuring the students at Red Earth and Ahtahkakoop have access to quality education, we are giving them the resources to further develop their skills and achieve their educational goals," said Rob Clarke, MP for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "We are continuing to make investments in school projects that will provide lasting benefits for First Nation communities."

Red Earth First Nation will receive an elementary classroom expansion of over 1,100 m2 on the existing community high school. This project will benefit current students and provide the needed capacity and facilities for the future.

"The elementary school is the seed for a life-long education," said Chief Miller Nawakayas of Red Earth First Nation. "This project ensures our children will have a safe and healthy learning environment for future success in life."

The Government of Canada is also investing in the design and construction of a classroom addition for Ahtahkakoop First Nation. This project will add approximately 600 m2 to the existing high school to meet the needs of the student enrolment projection. The existing school will also be renovated as part of the project.

"This is good news for our students and our community," said Chief Larry Ahenakew of the Ahtahkakoop First Nation. "With our growing student population, we see this project as more than just an investment in our school, but more so in our children and their future."

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). This extension 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.

The investments at Red Earth and Ahtahkakoop First Nations 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: www.inac-ainc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Minister's Office
    Nina Chiarelli - Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations
    819-953-1160