First Nation Students Start School Year in New Schools

SIKSIKA NATION, AB, Sept. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - This year, as many as 1,970 students will be starting a new school year in one of the six new schools in First Nations communities. These new schools will provide First Nation students with improved learning environments which will lead to stronger communities and hope for a brighter future.

Today, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, was in Siksika Nation to congratulate the community on the completion of its new school.

The Minister had the opportunity to visit the Chief Crowfoot School which provides a new and improved learning environment for students of Siksika Nation, from preschool to Grade 6. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada provided $10.9 million towards the design and construction of this $21.3 million cost-shared project. The new school includes 14 classrooms, administrative offices, a gym, library, culture/multipurpose room, and computer lab, providing students with greater opportunities to learn.

In addition to Siksika Nation, new elementary and secondary schools opened for students this year in Pikangikum (ON), Fort Severn (ON), Poplar Hill (ON), O'Chiese (AB), and Kwakiutl (BC) First Nations.


"A learning environment that is healthy and culturally safe is critical in order for students to thrive and grow. I am thrilled to start the new school year with the students of Siksika Nation, who now can be proud of their beautiful new elementary school. I commend Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman, council members, the new Chief Crowfoot School Committee and the Siksika Board of Education leadership on their commitment to providing the essential ingredients to ensure student success in their community."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Quick facts

  • Budget 2016 will invest $969.4 million over five years for the construction, repair and maintenance of First Nations school facilities, as part of a long-term strategy to improve First Nations education infrastructure.
  • Siksika Nation is located approximately 110 km east of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway and has an on-reserve population of 4,183.
  • The new Chief Crowfoot School can accommodate up to 300 students.

Associated Links

Siksika Nation  
Siksika Board of Education   
First Nation Enhanced Education Infrastructure Fund 


SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002 ; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160; Stay Connected Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Flickr. You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds or e-mail. For more information or to subscribe, visit

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