Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 03, 2009 14:25 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Delivers a New School for Birch Narrows First Nation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - A new school will benefit the residents of Birch Narrows First Nation, thanks to the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethe-Missinipi-Churchill River, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today announced construction of a K-12 school in partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan and the Birch Narrows First Nation.

"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Aboriginal youth are prepared to participate in Canada's economy," Clarke said. "That's why we are putting particular emphasis on improving education for First Nations in partnership with the provinces and First Nations communities."

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 proposed new school will be built to accommodate 340 students. The current facility can no longer accommodate the growing population of school-aged children both on the reserve and the surrounding area.

The Government of Saskatchewan will cover approximately 20 per cent of the total costs, while the First Nation has committed $1 million towards the project. The new school is considered a priority of the Northern Lights School Division, as well as the Birch Narrows Dene Nation.

"We are pleased to be a partner with Birch Narrows First Nation, Northern Lights School Division and the Government of Canada in building the new kindergarten to Grade 12 school, which is so important to this community," Deputy Premier and Minister of Education Ken Krawetz said. "The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to developing strong partnerships with Saskatchewan's aboriginal communities and organizations to improve the quality of life and educational outcomes for all Saskatchewan people. We recognize the positive effect on student achievement when learning is supported by high-quality school facilities."

"This school will provide a needed and improved learning environment for our children," said Robert Sylvester, Chief of the Birch Narrows First Nation. "We are not only building a school, we are building a foundation for our children's future."

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 a strong and productive educational experience, which starts with access to quality infrastructure that is conducive to learning.

Project costs will be identified following the competitive tendering process.

Backgrounders on First Nations Infrastructure and Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program are also available on the Internet at: inac-ainc.gc.ca .

This news release is also available on the Internet at: inac-ainc.gc.ca

Contact Information

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