WHITECAP DAKOTA FN, SK, April 30, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced support for the construction or renovation of 11 First Nation school infrastructure projects across the country. These important school infrastructure projects will provide First Nation students with first-class learning environments while creating jobs and opportunities for local communities.
Minister Valcourt made the announcement at the Whitecap Dakota First Nation's elementary school. Whitecap Dakota First Nation will be receiving supporting investments for the renovation of one on-reserve school that will serve students from Kindergarten to Grade 4 and for the construction of an off-reserve school cost-shared with the Province of Saskatchewan that will serve students from Grade 5 to Grade 8.
This is part of the Government's overall strategy to create jobs in the local communities and help to improve First Nations well-being by helping to provide access to a quality learning environment that allows them to get the skills they need to enter the labour market.
Funding for the school projects is part of the Government's Economic Action Plan 2014 commitment of $500 million over seven years beginning in 2015-2016 for a new Education Infrastructure Fund.
- Cost and start date of these projects will be determined after the projects have gone to tender.
- The other seven First Nations receiving support for the construction or renovation of their school infrastructure are: Miawpukek First Nation (NL), Long Point First Nation (QC), Flying Dust First Nation (SK), Little Red River Cree Nation (AB), Prophet River First Nation (BC), Esk'etemc First Nation (BC), and Gwa'sala-Nakwaxda'xw First Nation (BC).
- As announced in Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government of Canada will also provide $200 million over five years, starting in 2015-2016, to help support First Nations to achieve better education outcomes, including building partnerships with provincial school systems.
"Like all Canadians, First Nation students deserve access to a quality learning environment. Not only will these investments provide First Nation students with a place where they can learn and acquire the skills necessary to enter the labour market, but it will also create jobs and training opportunities for community members during the construction phase."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"Our Government is committed to creating jobs and opportunities while providing First Nation students with a quality education to help them achieve their goals. These projects will provide First Nation students with first-class learning environments to help young First Nation members reach their full potential and participate in Canada's economy."
Member of Parliament for Blackstrap, Saskatchewan
"It's exciting to see that the children and community of Whitecap Dakota First Nation are directly benefitting from the long standing partnerships Whitecap has been building with the Government of Canada, Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Public School Division. A partnership we look forward to keep building, supported by these capital investments."
Chief Darcy Bear
Whitecap Dakota First Nation
"Our community would like to sincerely give thanks to Government of Canada for this investment in our children. Our young people are the focal point in our community and this funding to renovate our school will help them grow leaps and bounds. Since many of our children have gone on to post-secondary from attending the Gwa'sala-Nakwaxda'xw School, this is an investment in our future."
Chief Paddy Walkus
"Miawpukek First Nation emphasizes the importance of education, not just for students but for our community. The new school will provide greater opportunity as we continue moving forward to a brighter future."
Chief Misel Joe
Miawpukek First Nation
"The Flying Dust First Nation is very pleased to be selected by the Government of Canada for a school expansion from our current size of Kindergarten to Grade 4, to a Kindergarten to Grade 9. Not only is it a long term investment for the education of our students, it enables our First Nation to have better control of our fiscal operations. It will create jobs and training opportunities, not only during construction, but when we are in full operation."
Chief Richard Gladue
Flying Dust First Nation
"The Prophet River First Nation believes education is crucial to our future generations. It is the upmost importance that our children get the best education we can provide for them. Our community is happy with the new upcoming school and is looking forward to creating a safe, healthy and positive environment for future generations to come."
Chief Lynette Tsakoza
Prophet River First Nation
"Today's announcement is great news for my community. The construction of a new school has been awaited for a long time by the children of Long Point First Nation. I would like to thank everyone who collaborated as a team to realize this project: the Government of Canada, former Chiefs of the community, the architect along with the Tribal Council. Together, we are working to ensure a safe learning environment for our children."
Chief Derek Mathias
Long Point First Nation
"This shows a clear commitment from the Minister to support what we have been working towards within our three communities. The Council and I, as well as management in our three communities, have long recognized the importance of education and training for our members."
Chief Leslie Joe Laboucan
Little Red River Cree Nation
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SOURCE Government of 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; Kavari Braid, Media Contact, Whitecap Dakota First Nation, 306-220-4714