Canada's New Government funds school expansion projects in Alberta



    CALGARY, April 5 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian
Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and
Non-Status Indians, today announced that the federal government would fund
three school expansion and construction projects in Alberta, totalling $25.2
million over three years. This is part of the federal government's national
announcement of more than $50 million for school infrastructure projects
across the country.
    "Canada's New Government is committed to improving on-reserve student
retention and graduation rates. Establishing facilities that meet existing
educational requirements is the first step towards this goal," said Minister
Prentice. "These projects will ensure these young people have a place to learn
that is both healthy and safe, and measures up to standards in other parts of
the country."
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will invest in the following projects:

    Sunchild School: INAC will contribute $10,756,380 over three years
towards the expansion of the current kindergarten to grade 12 school at
Sunchild First Nation. The First Nation will contribute a further $1,088,200
to this project.
    Sunchild First Nation, located northwest of Rocky Mountain House, has an
on-reserve population of approximately 680 residents.

    Big Horn Ta Otha School: INAC will contribute $12,001,280 over three
years to the Stoney Tribe towards the construction of a new school to replace
the existing collection of classroom portables that does not meet the needs or
program requirements of both the on and off-reserve students that attend the
school.
    Stoney Tribe, located west of Calgary, has an on-reserve population of
approximately 4,000 residents. It is comprised of three First Nations:
Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation and Wesley First Nation.

    Morley School: INAC will contribute $2,481,340 over three years towards
the construction of a new gymnasium at Stoney Tribe's Morley elementary
school. Currently, students and teachers travel to a different facility to
meet physical education requirements, posing a health and safety risk that is
heightened during the winter months.

    Construction on these projects is slated to start in the Spring 2007.
    "Canada's new government will continue to take the necessary steps
towards improving outcomes in First Nations education. These investments will
make a measurable difference in the quality of education for these students,
and will help to ensure they reach their full academic potential," said
Minister Prentice.
    Canada's New Government continues to make investments for education
facilities across Canada to support projects such as construction, renovation,
repair, and design and planning projects, including operation and maintenance,
to improve learning environments.

    This release is also available in electronic format
    at www.ainc-inac.gc.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of
the Honourable Jim Prentice, (819) 997-0002; Media Relations, Indian and
Northern Affairs Canada, (819) 953-1160; Kelly Payn, Communications, INAC
Alberta Regional Office, (780) 495-2840

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