Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 02, 2009 08:56 ET

Government of Canada Announces Major Renovation Project for School in Wemotaci First Nation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2009) - The Wemotaci First Nation will benefit from a major school renovation project, thanks to the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Canada Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec), announced today a renovation project for the Seskitin Primary School in Wemotaci. Minister Lebel made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-status Indians.

"Quality learning environments are essential for First Nation students to achieve the best possible education, " said Minister Lebel. "Improving education outcomes and providing access to quality First Nation school infrastructure that is conducive to learning, is a priority of the government."

"Quality learning environments are essential for First Nation students to achieve the best possible education, " said Minister Lebel. "Improving education outcomes and ensuring First Nation school infrastructure is on par with other Canadian schools is a priority of the government."

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 Wemotaci school was built in 1971. The renovation project is needed because of the growing student numbers and the building's age.

"After all the alarmist talk about the recession by economists, we finally have some good news for the Wemotaci community," commented Simon Coocoo, Chief of the Atikamekw community of Wemotaci. "Seskitin primary school, which was built nearly 40 years ago, will undergo major renovations to give our young people a safe educational institution that meets their needs. The school will meet current and future functional requirements, and the size of the classrooms will increase which should help to motivate the students and teachers. The renovation will also create jobs and business opportunities in the short term, producing local and regional benefits. This major investment in the education sector by the federal government will contribute to the community's prosperity. It is through education that a community is built and progress is made."

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 access to the same quality learning environments as other Canadian students.

Project costs will be identified following the competitive tendering process.

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