Opening the Way to Jobs and Opportunities for Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids First Nations

Federal funding for new access roads to remote communities

WINNIPEG, Feb. 11, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and Minister Responsible for the province of Manitoba on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development today announced an investment for the construction of access roads to the Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids First Nations. 

Support for this project will help create immediate jobs and growth for the communities by providing access to jobs and training opportunities on the construction site.

When completed, the roads will connect the communities to the province's all-season road network currently under construction on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. This critical project will help create and improve access to jobs and improve commercial opportunities due to increased traffic.

This project will open the way between Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids First Nations and to the local airport, which is operated by the province. In addition, when completed, the roads will link the communities with Bloodvein First Nation and the all season road. Currently, Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi are accessible only by winter road or air.

The Government of Canada is contributing $6 million to the project over two years through the Building Canada Fund.

Quick Facts

  • It is estimated that there are approximately 36,000 residents living in over 30 communities on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. Approximately 96% of those living in the region are First Nation people. See the Manitoba East Side Road Authority website.
  • On February 3, 2012, Canada, Manitoba and Bloodvein First Nation announced an investment for construction of access roads to connect the community to the all-season road network. The project was completed November 14, 2014.
  • Little Grand Rapids has an on-reserve population of 1,269 and is located approximately 268 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. (See map of area)
  • Pauingassi First Nation has an on-reserve population of 584 and is located approximately 280 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg and 24 kilometres north of Little Grand Rapids.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to taking concrete steps that will lead to jobs, growth and long-term economic prosperity. This investment is a clear demonstration of our commitment to enabling First Nations to take full advantage of our country's economic prosperity."

Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

"Our Government is pleased to invest in infrastructure for remote and isolated communities. This investment will make it easier for community members to access job sites and training and will improve economic prospects."

Shelly Glover
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

"Chief and Council of Little Grand Rapids First Nation are looking forward to the access road between Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Pauingassi First Nation. This access road will improve the social, cultural and economic relationship between our communities. Our families will now be able to assist one another in all aspects of healthy living. The access road will provide immeasurable opportunities during pre-construction stages, construction activities and after completion, it will enhance the quality of our lives."

Chief Martin Owens
Little Grand Rapids First Nation

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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

For further information: Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160


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