(ANNews) – On April 10, Enoch Cree Nation celebrated a sod turning ceremony for Maskekosak Kiskinomatowikamik – their new Kindergarten to Grade 12 school. The school will be a state-of-the-art facility for learning and will accommodate the growing student population.
“As a Nation, we are extremely excited for our new K-12 School Project,” stated Enoch Cree Chief William Morin.
Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre attended the ceremony on behalf of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services.
“Congratulations to Chief Morin and the Enoch Cree Nation council on this exciting and important project,” stated Minister Philpott. “Education is critical to improving opportunities for First Nations youth and a welcoming learning environment is essential. Maskekosak Kiskinomatowikamik will help the students of Enoch Cree Nation reach their potential.”
The Government of Canada is investing $22.5 million in this project and Enoch Cree Nation is contributing an additional $1.5 million.
“I’d like to thank my colleagues, Indigenous Services Canada, The Workun Garrick Partnership, Fillmore Construction, and our New School Building Committee for their continued efforts to make this project a reality,” added Chief Morin.
Construction began in March 2018 and the school is set to open in September 2019.
Enoch Cree Nation is located in central Alberta, directly bordering the City of Edmonton on its west side.
The original Kitaskinaw school was built in 1973. Modular classrooms were added in 2008 and 2010 to accommodate the growing student enrolment.
The new school has a projected enrolment of over 270 students in grades kindergarten to twelve.
Enoch Cree Nation’s contribution will go toward an additional 500 square meters for two career and technology studies classrooms.
Through Budget 2016, the Government of Canada is investing $969.4 million over five years for the construction, repair and maintenance of First Nation school facilities as part of a long-term strategy to improve education infrastructure in First Nations communities. 169 First Nation education projects are completed or underway. These projects, ranging from school repairs to the building of new schools, benefit more than 200,000 people in 168 First Nation communities.