Former prime minister Paul Martin was on hand to launch a new project in Ile a la Crosse, Sask. called the Green House Project.
The project is part of the Martin Family Initiative that has been working with schools across Canada for almost a decade.
Martins says he sees Indigenous youth as an investment for Canada.
“The Green House Project hopes to address many issue related to food, food security, and horticulture that disproportionately affects Indigenous Peoples and their communities,” Martin said. “The Greenhouse Project is a school- based program that introduces students to horticulture through hands on lessons and practices.
“It seeks to complement a number of existing course areas for high school students including entrepreneurship, science, math, and nutrition.”
The goal is to get the high school students skilled at growing their own food and sharing it with the community and area by using their entrepreneurial skills by building a business.
“We all understand that food in the north is expensive and that often times whether its fresh vegetables or fresh fruit those things are not available as a result we have said one of the things we got to do in an entrepreneurial way is to build greenhouses,” said Martin.
Green houses that can use solar energy and can be spread throughout the north that will create food security.”
Youth in the community like Jeremy Corrigal, the local Junior mayor and president of the Students Representatives Council sees this upcoming Green House Project as encouraging for his community.
“It’s a huge step in our community with making more partnerships with more people around the province and around the country.
“It’s a big step for our school in general and getting the former prime minister of Canada here and helping us and being a partner with us that just an honour our community is that much more.”
Jim Durocher, local president of the A la Bale Metis Local 21 says the project is important.
“We are an isolated community. The Green House Project will allow students and participating community members to explore the usage of more advanced technology to sustain year-round growth,” he said.
Durocher also thinks junk food has contributed to high rates in diabetes in his community.
He sees this as a way to return to traditions and healthy eating.
The program was developed with the input of Elders, leaders, educators and the business community to meet all the criteria for the students and community.