Harper Government Congratulates Eel Ground First Nation on Official Opening of New School

$9 million energy-efficient school will meet student population growth for future

OTTAWA, June 17 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and Member of Parliament Tilly O'Neill Gordon today congratulated Eel Ground First Nation on the official opening of its new elementary school. Minister Valcourt and MP O'Neill Gordon toured the new school during a community visit last week.

The new $9 million school was built with an investment of just over $8.1 million from our Government. The First Nation contributed $900,000 toward the project.

The new school accommodates the more than 90 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 enrolled in the present elementary school and will meet the community's student population growth expectations for the future. It was designed and built to be energy efficient resulting in significantly reduced operating costs. 

Our Government is focused on what matters most to Canadians—growing the economy and helping create jobs. That is why the Government continues to invest in new schools, like Natoaganeg School, and support the construction of provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure, while maximizing local employment opportunities.

Quick facts

  • The school's official title is Natoaganeg School, which is the Mi'kmaq name for Eel Ground.
  • Between 2006 and 2014, our Government invested approximately $850 million in 572 education facilities projects, including the construction of 41 new schools and 531 renovations, additions or other school projects.
  • Economic Action Plan 2014 provides $500 million over seven years for First Nations school infrastructure.



"I would like to congratulate Eel Ground First Nation on the opening of their new elementary school. Our Government recognizes the importance of creating safe learning environments that encourage students from First Nations and we are pleased to contribute toward providing their children with a safe learning environment. We will continue to collaborate with our First Nations partners across Canada to generate concrete results and to ensure that First Nations are able to participate fully in a dynamic Canadian economy."

Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

"This project demonstrates our Government's commitment to providing First Nation students with the same first-class learning environments available to all Canadians—a place where students can develop the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their future goals and aspirations. 

Tilly O'Neill Gordon
Member of Parliament for Miramichi

"The Chief, Council and Community of Eel Ground are very pleased to be officially celebrating ‎the opening of the new K-8 Natoaganeg School on the 17th of June with leadership, educators, elders and youth with Federal, provincial and First Nations well represented. A new community school has been a goal, a dream for Eel Ground for over 10 years. Our old school was over crowded, and in very poor condition. The new school is bright, spacious, well laid out and will be surrounded by recreation and green spaces. We want to thank our partners in making this project a reality, especially AANDC, the Regional office played a key role in assisting Eel Ground and our Consultants from Hatch Mott and the builder, Bird Construction in delivering a facility that supports and promotes community education."

Chief George Ginnish
Chief of Eel Ground First Nation

Associated Links

Canada's Economic Action Plan 
Eel Ground First Nation Community Profile 
Natoaganeg School photo gallery 
News Release – New School Announcement of March 14, 2013 
ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Program (EANCP) 2011–2016


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; You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds or e-mail. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.aandc.gc.ca/subscriptions.

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