Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

May 18, 2012 11:52 ET

Minister Duncan Congratulates St. Theresa Point First Nation on Opening of New School

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 18, 2012) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today congratulated St. Theresa Point First Nation on the official opening of their new school facilities.

"Our government is committed to working with First Nations to ensure students have better learning environments," said Minister Duncan. "This investment means St. Theresa Point students will have a safe and healthy learning environment that will contribute to improved educational outcomes."

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada invested $38 million in the planning, design and construction of two school projects. The first, a grade 5-8 middle school, has 14 new classrooms including computer, science, home economics, industrial arts and multi-purpose rooms, as well as a gymnasium, library and administrative offices. The new middle school replaces temporary buildings where classes were previously held.

The second school, for junior kindergarten to grade 4, is an addition to the existing high school featuring 14 new classrooms, four kindergarten rooms and renovations to the high school gymnasium, library, home economics and computer rooms.

The new facilities accommodate approximately 350 grade 5 to 8 students and 500 junior kindergarten to grade 4 students.

"We have been looking forward to the Official Grand Opening of the second and final phase of our new school and the visit of Minister Duncan," said Chief Eugene Wood, St. Theresa Point First Nation. "The new school signifies our commitment and hope in establishing the foundation that education can bring to the well-being of our children. We want to thank the Government of Canada for their role in this worthwhile project."

The $38 million investment was funded through an extension of the Building Canada plan's Gas Tax Fund (GTF). The GTF has allocated more than $102 million over a three-year period (2009-2010 to 2011-2012), for eight new First Nation schools and school renovation projects.

Economic Action Plan 2012 has committed $275 million for First Nation education over three years for improving school infrastructure and addressing literacy, in addition to committing to work with willing partners to introduce a First Nation Education Act and have it in place by September 2014. These measures build on the more than $1 billion a year the government spends on First Nation education and will contribute to creating the conditions required for Canada's First Nations to participate fully in Canada's economy.

St. Theresa Point First Nation is one of the four Island Lake communities located 290 kilometres southeast of Thompson and accessible by winter road and air. The community has an on-reserve population of just over 3,500 people, of which 1,250 are between four and 18 years old.

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 John Duncan
    819-997-0002

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    819-953-1160