Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

July 21, 2009 13:30 ET

Government of Canada Delivers New School for Kehewin Cree Nation in Alberta

KEHEWIN CREE NATION, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 21, 2009) - The Government of Canada, along with other government partners, is helping to build a new school so that members of Kehewin Cree Nation have access to quality learning environments. This investment was made possible through the Government's $33-billion Building Canada Plan.

"The potential of First Nations youth is immeasurable. By providing safe learning environments, we are helping these youth to further develop their skills and giving them the opportunity to reach their educational goals," said MP Brian Storseth on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "Investing in our children's futures remains a priority of the Government of Canada."

"I congratulate Kehewin Cree Nation Chief Gadwa and Council on making education a top priority. This school will greatly benefit the community and is an excellent example of how the First Nation Development Fund (FNDF) can help accomplish First Nations' goals," said the Honourable Gene Zwozdesky, Alberta's Minister of Aboriginal Relations."

Kehewin Cree Nation will receive a new kindergarten-to-grade six school to replace the existing facility. The school will be approximately 2,000 m2 and could accommodate over 150 students. In addition to the investment made by the Government of Canada, the Cree Nation will provide $661,000 of its own funds and approximately $7.6 million has been allocated through the FNDF grant program administered by the Government of Alberta, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations.

"Over the past several years, Kehewin Cree Nation has been diligent in its efforts to have a new school built at the First Nation. Now that the school has been approved, the Nation would like to offer our thanks to all who made this happen," said Kehewin Cree Nation Chief Ernest Gadwa. "We are grateful to former Chief Eric Gadwa and Council member William John for their commitment and dedication over the years, in making certain a new school for Kehewin became a reality."

"Both the federal and provincial governments came together in support of our First Nation achieving a new school," said Chief Gadwa. "I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge MP Brian Storseth for his dedication and countless hours of advocating for our nation. I would also like to express my appreciation to George Arcand, Regional Director General of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the previous and current leadership for their support of the project."

In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada augmented infrastructure programming across Canada by creating 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 Kehewin Cree Nation school is one 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: inac-ainc.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Minister's Office
    Nina Chiarelli - Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    INAC Media Relations
    819-953-1160