Statement by Minister Bennett Following her Visit to La Loche and Clearwater River, Saskatchewan

LA LOCHE, SK, Feb. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement after her visit to the communities of La Loche and Clearwater River, Saskatchewan.

"Today, I met with Métis, First Nation and local leadership in La Loche and Clearwater River to listen and discuss the challenges their communities face. The terrible tragedy of January 22nd shocked all Canadians and our profound sympathy goes out to the people of this community.

Prime Minister Trudeau has stated that the Government of Canada will be here for the people of La Loche and the Clearwater River Dene Nation – not only through this difficult time, but in the months and years to come. As Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada I am steadfast in my commitment to working respectfully with the Métis and Clearwater River Dene Nation in order to understand their unique challenges and find solutions to address their needs on the ground.

Over the course of the day MP Georgina Jolibois joined me as we met with Chief Ted Clark, the Mayor and Council of La Loche, leadership of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, Métis National Council President Clément Chartier, and former students of the Ile-à-La-Crosse residential school. We discussed community priorities, concerns, and their thoughts on how we can work together in partnership to ensure that young people in this community have a real and fair chance to succeed.
I recognize the lasting impacts of such a shocking and tragic event on the people living in a closely knit and remote community. I strongly believe that together, we will take what we have learned from this terrible event and work towards strengthening our communities and our country.

This statement is also available on the Internet at

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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160

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