Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

July 04, 2011 11:01 ET

Minister Duncan Congratulates the Atikamekw First Nation on Major Upgrades to Otapi Secondary School

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 4, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today congratulated the Atikamekw First Nation on the completion of work on expanding and refitting the Otapi secondary school (César Newashish School) in the community of Manawan, Quebec. This project was made possible through an investment of $3.1 million under Canada's Economic Action Plan.

"The academic success of First Nation students is a priority for our Government," said Minister Duncan. "It is important for First Nation communities to have safe and healthy educational facilities that provide the best conditions for student success."

Otapi School, which includes grades seven to 11, has approximately 400 students and was built in 1996. The building needed additional space to meet the needs of the growing population over the next five years. The school also underwent a refit to improve its suitability for teaching. The project work, managed by the First Nation, occurred between September 2010 and March 2011.

"Rapid population growth means that we must constantly adapt our services to keep pace," said the Chief of the Atikamekw community of Manawan, Paul-Émile Ottawa. "We are convinced that expanding our high school will give our increasingly numerous youth a more suitable environment in which to pursue their studies."

The Government of Canada is taking action to improve First Nation living conditions and stimulate economic growth in First Nation communities through targeted infrastructure investments, including investments in school infrastructure. The government has provided over $173 million across the country in the last two years to build new schools and renovate existing schools under Canada's Economic Action Plan. This federal funding will provide for more classes, better fire protection and improved facilities. These renovations will benefit current students and will also ensure that schools have the capacity to accommodate future students.

Profile of the community of Manawan

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This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada