OTTAWA, Sept. 12, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada and Lake St. Martin First Nation are working together to ensure that residents displaced by severe flooding in 2011 return to a community that will meet their needs for generations to come. Education is a vital part of the long-term health and prosperity of a community, and the Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Lake St. Martin's youth have a safe and healthy place to learn.
Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated Lake St. Martin First Nation on the grand opening of their new Kindergarten to Grade 12 school.
The new 4,032 square-metre facility can accommodate up to 324 students. It has a library, Indigenous language classroom, special education resource room, industrial arts and home economics classrooms, science laboratory, cafeteria, gymnasium and administrative spaces. Outdoor features include a track and field area, soccer pitch, baseball diamond, two play structures, and an outdoor hockey rink.
The $25.6 million school project was funded by the Government of Canada and is part of the Operation Return Home project—a partnership with the Province of Manitoba to return evacuees displaced by the 2011 flood to rebuilt, sustainable home communities.
"Education is at the heart of a community's success and this new school will help open the way to countless opportunities for young people in Lake St. Martin. My heartfelt congratulations on the grand opening of this new school, which marks a significant milestone in returning families to the newly rebuilt community."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
"Our youth are our future leaders and education is fundamental to their success. As our members make the transition back to our new community, we must ensure there is no disruption of their lifestyle. The new Lake St. Martin First Nation School is a tremendous facility, not only for our youth, but for our community."
Chief Adrian Sinclair
Lake St. Martin First Nation
- The first phase of construction, including 190 new homes, is complete and evacuees have started to return home to Lake St. Martin First Nation. Work continues on another 130 homes.
- While most infrastructure replacement and repairs at Lake St. Martin First Nation are being cost-shared with Manitoba, the $25.6 million school project was funded entirely by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).
- Other completed infrastructure projects in Lake St. Martin include roads, a public works garage and fire hall, a water treatment plant, wastewater facility and sewage lagoon.
- Lake St. Martin First Nation selected a new community site in spring of 2014, and the First Nation, ISC, and the Province of Manitoba signed an Agreement in Principle in April 2017 that outlines the elements of a final settlement package.
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
For further information: media may contact: Rachel Rappaport, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, 819-934-2796; Indigenous Services Canada Media Relations, 819-953-1160, [email protected]