Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 03, 2009 14:30 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Delivers New School for the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - A new elementary school will benefit the residents of Deschambault Lake, one of six communities within the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, thanks to the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan (http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp).

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 new elementary school in partnership with the First Nation (PBCN) to replace the previous school destroyed by fire in 2005.

"The Government of Canada understands that a school often represents the heart of a community, especially those located in remote, northern areas," Clarke said. "It often represents a springboard for Aboriginal youth to become full and active participants in Canada's economy or to become a future community leader."

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 replacement project will see the construction of a new elementary school, roadways, parking lots, playing fields and landscaping. The new school will accommodate 80 nursery/kindergarten students and 170 grade one to grade five students.

"The loss of one of our schools was devastating, as there are very few good alternatives available to the community of Deschambault Lake," said Darrel McCallum, Chief of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. "This new elementary school will provide a much-needed and improved learning environment for our children."

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.

Deschambault Lake, a community of about 900 residents, located about 275 kilometres northeast of Prince Albert, is one of six communities that make up the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation has 4,430 members residing on reserve and 2,892 members living off reserve.

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

Backgrounders on First Nations Infrastructure and Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program are also available on the Internet at: www.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