News Release Article from  Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Government of Canada Signs School Infrastructure Partnership Understanding with Four Manitoba First Nations

January 27, 2016 – Winnipeg, MB – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, today announced that the Government of Canada has signed a Partnership Understanding with four Manitoba First Nations to work co-operatively towards achieving safe and culturally relevant learning environments in these communities.

The partnership will see Bloodvein, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, and Poplar River First Nations work together with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada towards addressing the school infrastructure needs of students in these communities. The parties will conduct feasibility studies to help define the school infrastructure needs of the communities and propose options to address them.

The Government of Canada is committed to improving access to learning environments for First Nations children. Through this partnership, the First Nations and the Government of Canada are affirming their commitment to work together on a government-to-government basis on school infrastructure.


"Ensuring First Nation students are able to learn in environments that are culturally appropriate is critical to their educational success. By partnering with the communities of Bloodvein, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, and Poplar River, we will be more successful in ensuring education facilities provide safe, enabling and nurturing learning environment that meet the needs of students in the years to come."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

"Our First Nation is very pleased to be a part of this partnership. Our community members have been clear about the importance of education as part of our growth and development. This project will start us down the path to bringing improved learning opportunities to our young people."

Roland Hamilton,
Chief, Bloodvein First Nation

"As Chief, I am very pleased with this announcement and the chance to partner with other First Nations and the federal government on this project. Providing a good learning environment in our community is critically important. It will give our young people the chance to grow and succeed, and a new school is vital to make that happen."

Roy Dunsford,
Chief, Little Grand Rapids First Nation

"A new school has long been a priority for our First Nation, and we are excited to begin the process of making that a reality. A new and modern school needs to be designed to meet the needs of our students today, and of the community as our population grows. It is an investment that will pay dividends for many years to come."

Martin Owens,
Chief, Paunigassi First Nation

"We want to provide our young people with the best possible learning experience, and a new school facility is an important part of that foundation. We are excited to partner with others who see education as a priority in the same way that we do. Student success at all levels will lead to a stronger, healthier community."

Russell Lambert,
Chief, Poplar River First Nation

Quick facts

  • Bloodvein, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi and Poplar River First Nations are located in eastern Manitoba, with a combined on-reserve population of approximately 2,900.
  • By centralizing project management and bundling procurement, this partnership will allow for more effective and efficient construction and renovation of schools, including a reduction to shipping and materials costs.
  • Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada entered into similar Partnership Agreements with God's Lake, Manto Sipi, Bunibonibee, and Wasagamack First Nations in Manitoba in March 2015, and with Shoal Lake No. 40 and Wapekeka First Nations in Ontario in December 2015.


Sabrina Williams
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett

Media Relations
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

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