Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

November 20, 2010 11:30 ET

Minister Duncan Celebrates Opening of New Elementary School With Lac Seul First Nation

LAC SEUL FIRST NATION, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 20, 2010) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today celebrated, with Lac Seul First Nation, the opening of the new Frenchman's Head Elementary School.

"Our Government is committed to ensuring First Nation children have access to quality education and a safe learning environment that puts them on the path to success," said Minister Duncan.

"This new school will help our youth obtain the skills and knowledge they need to grow and flourish," said Lac Seul Chief Clifford Bull. "It will help give the students of Lac Seul First Nation the opportunity to reach their full potential."

Kenora Member of Parliament, Greg Rickford, was also on hand to celebrate the opening of Lac Seul's new school.

"This Government will continue to invest in school infrastructure projects and programs to ensure First Nation students have a strong and productive educational experience," said MP Rickford. "A good education is essential to the future success of students and their communities."

The Minister also took the opportunity to announce an investment of $62 million in 2011-2012 made available through the First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP), a Canada-wide program designed to support First Nation educators on reserve in their ongoing efforts to improve student achievement.

"Our Government is also offering opportunities for on-reserve schools to increase the literacy and numeracy levels of First Nation students, and to improve student retention through the FNSSP," said Minister Duncan.

"We welcome the Government of Canada's continued commitment to innovative education programs like the FNSSP which will help provide our children with a high quality education on par with the rest of Canada," said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose. "We are committed to working with Canada to help our young people reach their full academic potential, which will give them a better chance for future success."

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) provided approximately $7 million through the extension to the Building Canada Plan's Gas Tax Fund for the construction of the Frenchman's Head School. The First Nation contributed just over $575,000.

The First Nation Student Success Program is a key component of the broader Reforming First Nations Education Initiative announced in Budget 2008 and for which an investment of $268 million was committed. The FNSSP is a proposal-driven program designed to support First Nation educators on reserve in their ongoing efforts to meet their students' needs and improve student and school results. For 2011-2012, funding in the amount of $62 million is available for FNSSP initiatives already approved and for new eligible submissions.

The Lac Seul First Nation is located 15 kilometres west of Sioux Lookout.

For more information on the Frenchman's Head School and the Building Canada Plan, please see attached Backgrounder entitled, Grand Opening of Frenchman's Head School. For more information on the FNSSP and a list of the recipients of this funding, please consult INAC's website at

This release is also available on the Internet at

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada