(ANNews) – On June 6, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated Chief Arthur Rain, the Council, and the community of Paul First Nation, who are celebrating the official start of construction of a new K-9 school in their community with a sod turning ceremony.
Indigenous Services Canada is providing $18.6 million for the school construction and $800,000 for a dedicated space for a Head Start program in the school. In addition to a better learning environment for Kindergarten to Grade 9 students, there will also be an industrial art shop that will provide a classroom for career and technology programs for junior high school students, as well as a space for community members to upgrade their skills through adult education.
“Congratulations to Chief Rain and the Paul First Nation Council on the beginning of construction on your new Kindergarten to Grade 9 school,” stated Minister Philpott. “Education is critical to improving opportunities for First Nations youth and a welcoming learning environment is essential. This school will provide invaluable opportunities for the children of Paul First Nation to reach their full potential.”
Paul First Nation is located 60 km west of Edmonton, near Duffield, Alberta. Construction commenced in May 2018 and the project is expected to be completed by September 2019. The Nation has a school enrollment of approximately 470 students.
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.