Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

March 14, 2013 14:50 ET

Harper Government Fulfils Commitment to Improve On-Reserve Schools

EEL GROUND, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - March 14, 2013) - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today joined Eel Ground Chief George Ginnish, members of his Band Council, staff and students to announce funding for the design and construction of a new elementary school in the community.

"Improving on-reserve education is a priority we share with First Nation parents, leaders and educators," said Minister Valcourt. "A good education creates opportunities for students and contributes to strong and vibrant communities, and that is why our Government will continue to invest in building and renovating schools on reserve."

The new school will accommodate the 94 students enrolled in the present elementary school, as well as meet student population growth expectations for the future.

"Few institutions are as important to a community as a school that meets its students' education, cultural and other related needs," said Chief George Ginnish of Eel Ground First Nation. "Our community and Council, with assistance from key partners, diligently pursued this goal. We were all extremely happy to hear that we were successful and look forward to the design and construction, which will also economically benefit our community and region with employment and other opportunities."

"As a former educator in the area, I am thrilled that the community of Eel Ground is getting a new school," said Miramichi MP Tilly O'Neill Gordon. "There is a vibrant school community at Eel Ground First Nation and this new facility will allow students and teachers to achieve even more."

The school, estimated to occupy 2,249 m2, will be designed and built to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating or a minimum Green Globes rating of 4. The improved energy efficiency will result in significantly reduced operating costs.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is investing in the new school in partnership with Eel Ground First Nation.

A call for tenders for the design and construction of the school is expected to be issued in the summer of 2013.

Since 2006, the Harper Government has built over 30 new schools and renovated over 200 more, providing First Nation youth with better learning environments.

The Harper Government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

Eel Ground First Nation is located near Miramichi, New Brunswick. The community has 986 members, with an on-reserve population of 561.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Jan O'Driscoll
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

    Eel Ground First Nation
    Chief George Ginnish