LADYSMITH, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2012) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today congratulated the Stz'uminus First Nation on the opening of the Stz'uminus Community School.
"Through investments in on-reserve schools like this one, our Government is taking concrete steps to help First Nation students gain the skills and knowledge needed to prepare for the future," said Minister Duncan. "We are proud to support the Stz'uminus First Nation to provide a strong cultural and academic environment that will help their students succeed and participate in strengthening the Canadian economy."
"We understand the importance of creating high academic expectations for our children, with a solid foundation in learning who they are as xwul'muxw mustimuxw (First Nation people) in order for them to be successful," said Chief John Elliot. "The high enrollment already experienced at our new school is indicative of the faith our communities have in our education system and in the standards we have incorporated in both our traditional and formal education. We are a progressive community, and we appreciate this support from the Government which will have long-term benefits and help our communities become more self-sufficient."
The new community school can accommodate approximately 144 students in a modern, energy-efficient building that will use a geothermal heating system. The facility includes classrooms, a gymnasium, shop and home economics rooms, science labs, a lecture theater, office space and an updated sports field. The school is located in the heart of the community near other services such as the elders centre, daycare and sport facilities.
The Government of Canada invested more than $9.2 million in the Stz'uminus Community School. The Stz'uminus First Nation contributed an additional $1.3 million towards the facility.
This measure builds on the more than $1.5 billion a year the Government of Canada invests to support approximately 117,500 elementary and secondary students.
This is in addition to the approximately $200 million AANDC allocates each year to maintain and improve on reserve education infrastructure.
The Stz'uminus First Nation is located near the town of Ladysmith, B.C. on Vancouver Island. The community has a total membership of 1,207 which includes 657 people living on reserve.
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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