Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

March 02, 2009 09:05 ET

Government of Canada Announces Major Renovation Project for School in Natashquan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2009) - The Innu community of Natashquan 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 major renovation and expansion of the Uauitshitun School in Natashquan. Minister Lebel made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-status Indians.

"Improving educational outcomes in First Nations communities is important to our government," said Minister Lebel. "It is essential for First Nations students to have a strong and productive educational experience. This starts with access to quality infrastructure that is conducive to learning."

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 Natashquan school was built in 1990. The renovation and expansion at Natashquan are needed due to the growing student numbers and the building's age.

"The renovation and enlargement of the Uauitshitun school are a major concern for members of our community, so I am very pleased with today's announcement, which will no doubt improve the quality of the education that our children receive," said François Bellefleur, Chief of the Innu community of Natashquan.

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.ainc-inac.gc.ca

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

BACKGROUNDER

Natashquan First Nation

The Innu community of Natashquan is located in Quebec, at the mouth of the Natashquan River, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 336 kilometres east of Sept-Iles. It has 957 members, of whom 900 live on the reserve. The median age is 20.3 years.

The community has only one school, Uauitshitun School. The school has 179 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through Secondary V. As well, 107 students attend a provincial school outside the community.

The community has 20.3 hectares (50.2 acres) of land and is accessible by road year round.

There are some twenty businesses in the community, providing retail goods, arts and crafts, camping equipment, taxi service, heavy machinery, catering, health care and commercial fishing services.

For further details:

http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/scr/qc/aqc/prof/index-eng.asp

Contact Information

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