Ottawa, Ontario (July 31, 2012) – Larry Miller, Member of Parliament for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound (Ontario), on behalf of the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced today the start of construction of a new elementary school at Chippewas of Nawash First Nation.
“The construction of a new school in this community demonstrates that, in partnership with the Chippewas of Nawash, education is a priority and we are working together to make a difference in the lives of the students,” said Mr. Miller. “The Government of Canada is committed to working with First Nations to ensure that students have access to learning environments that will contribute to improved educational outcomes,” added Mr. Miller.
“This is a great day for our community,” said Chippewas of Nawash First Nation Chief Scott Lee during a groundbreaking event held in the community today. “Improving the education of our children requires a learning environment that will contribute to their success. The new school will give the children the educational foundation they deserve to be successful in life.”
Construction of the Chippewas of Nawash’s elementary school is scheduled to begin in August 2012, with the school scheduled to open in September 2013. During construction of the new school, the contractor and subcontractors will seek to create employment and training opportunities for local First Nations people.
The Government of Canada is providing close to $9 million for the kindergarten-grade 8 elementary school, which is designed to accommodate 113 students. The new school facility will include five classrooms, two kindergarten rooms, a library/resource centre, gymnasium, computer room and a health room.
Between 2006-2007 and 2010-2011, the federal government has invested approximately $1.23 billion on First Nation school infrastructure projects. In addition, Budget 2012 allocated $175 million for First Nation school infrastructure over three years.
The Chippewas of Nawash First Nation is located on the shores of Georgian Bay near Wiarton, Ontario, and has a population of over 2080 persons, approximately 700 of whom live on-reserve.