Ottawa announces funding for First Nation education projects

Liberals investing $50 million over six years into fund

APTN National News
OTTAWA—Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett announced Tuesday that nine First Nation communities and organizations had been selected to receive funding from the federal department’s “Innovation Fund.”

Bennett made the announcement during a speech at the Delta Hotel in Ottawa to a gathering of First Nation education officials.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to education,” said Bennett. “This will provide access to support for each of their innovative approaches to school construction.”

Bennett said the nine selected projects will impact about 20 First Nation communities. Each of the selected recipients can use up to $10 million from the fund for their respective projects.

The selected communities and organizations included the Squiala First Nation, Old Massett Village Council First Nation, Westbank First Nation and Adams Lake Indian Band in British Columbia, along with the Blood Tribe in Alberta, the Meadow Lake Tribal Council in Saskatchewan, Fisher River First Nation and Southeast Resource Development Corp in Manitoba and the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam First Nation in Quebec.

The Liberal government also plans to invest $50 million over the next six years into the fund, created in 2012, in the upcoming 2016-2017 federal budget.

The fund is tailored to fund education-related infrastructure projects that are “innovative” and “promote educational reform.”

During last year’s federal election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would invest $2.6 billion in new money for First Nation education.