Minister Philpott congratulates Snuneymuxw First Nation on new school groundbreaking

News release

March 15, 2018 - Nanaimo, BC  - Indigenous Services Canada

The federal government is committed to working in partnership with First Nation communities to build school facilities that foster pride and cultural identity for First Nation students.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulates Snuneymuxw First Nation on the groundbreaking for their new elementary school in the Cedar Area of Nanaimo. The new Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh Elementary is expected to be completed in April 2019 and will replace an over-capacity and aging modular structure. The Government of Canada provided nearly $11.6 million to build the new facility.


“Our government is proud to work in partnership with First Nations to support vibrant learning environments that foster cultural identity for their students. Congratulations to the Snuneymuxw First Nation on the groundbreaking of the new Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh Elementary that will provide quality education in a new and modern facility for the next generation of leaders.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

“It is a historical day for Snuneymuxw to build a new state of the art education facility for our children. Over the years we have accommodated our current education facility with make-shift buildings that have exhausted their life-span. Now we have an opportunity to provide our children, with the help of staff, council and community with a new educational facility that will enable them to reach their goals of higher education. It is our greatest priority to support all aspects of education for our children moving forward.”

Chief Mike Wyse
Snuneymuxw First Nation

“Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh means strong children. So we’re building strong children, not muscles, but it means building strong children for their minds, their culture, the pride of who they are as Snuneymuxw.

“This new school is going to give us the ability to really spread our wings and fly! The new location of our school in a beautiful forested area of the Snuneymuxw First Nation territory, which will allow for some great opportunities for outdoor education as well.

“We are very appreciative of The Government of Canada for their contribution of nearly $11.6 million to build our new school. This is a vision and dream of Snuneymuxw First Nation to have an innovative school to learn our Hul’quimin’um language and culture married with the Ministry guideline curriculum that we follow daily.

“We look forward to having the ability to offer our students the best education possible!”

Roxanne Harris
Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh Community School  

Quick facts

  • The new school will accommodate up to 70 children in kindergarten to grade 6. It will include five classrooms, two kindergarten rooms, a lunchroom, a library, a gymnasium, administrative offices, play areas and fields.

  • The Snuneymuxw are a First Nation of the Salish People located on the east coast of Vancouver Island. As of February 2018, the total registered population was 1,830 of whom 582 were living on reserve.

  • Budget 2016 is investing $2.6 billion over five years to support primary and secondary school education on reserve as well as $969.4 million over five years to First Nations education infrastructure on reserve.

  • As of December 31, 2017, and since Budget 2016 was announced, 169 First Nation education projects are completed or underway. These projects, ranging from school repairs to the building of new schools, benefit 168 First Nation communities with a combined population of approximately 201,000.

Associated links


Andrew MacKendrick
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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