Government of Canada congratulates the Nation Anishnabe du Lac Simon on Amikobi primary school expansion and new centre for the Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve program

News release

January 22, 2019 — Lac Simon, traditional Algonquin territory, QC — Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to working together with First Nations communities to build and upgrade on-reserve education facilities and to support students so they can get the best possible start in life.  

Today in Lac Simon, Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services announced a $9.5-million investment for two education infrastructure projects.

$8.5 million was invested in an expansion of the Amikobi primary school. In total, more than 2,100 m2 was added to the school to accommodate 16 additional classrooms, a cafeteria and a new gymnasium. A reception area was also set up and the school’s front facade was renovated.  

In addition, thanks to a $1 million investment and an ongoing commitment from the community, the children of Lac Simon have a new centre for the Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve (AHSOR) program. This program, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in October 2018, emphasizes the importance of Indigenous languages and culture, while helping to develop healthy lifestyles. The new 336-m2 centre can accommodate 80 children.

Quotes

“I am pleased that students in the community of Lac Simon have access to renovated education facilities that are conducive to learning and success, and that they have a new gathering place where the focus is on the physical, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual well-being of preschool children.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“The Government of Canada is proud to be working together with the Nation Anishnabe du Lac Simon to create modern, stimulating learning environments. Because of the investments announced today, children in the community can have a better learning experience that will help them thrive.”

Dan Vandal
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services
Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital

Lac Simon is experiencing major demographic growth. In 2018-2019, nearly 80 new students are attending the primary school. This trend is going to continue for at least the next decade. Therefore, the infrastructure announced today is essential to improve the quality of life in the community. However, other projects will have to be carried out to meet the rapidly growing need.”

Adrienne Jérôme
Chief of the Conseil de la Nation Anishnabe du Lac Simon

Quick facts

  • The Nation Anishnabe du Lac Simon is located on the west shore of Lake Simon, 32 kilometres southeast of Val-d’Or, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Quebec. It has 2,193 members, 1,731 of whom live in the community.

  • Expanding the Amikobi school means that nearly 370 primary students can be accommodated in an upgraded facility that offers new services.

  • The Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve (AHSOR) program was launched in 1998. It supports early intervention with Indigenous children aged six and under living on reserve, and it also supports their family-related needs.

  • The program has six components: education, health promotion, culture and language, nutrition, social support, and parental/family involvement. Projects funded under AHSOR are designed and implemented by First Nations communities to meet their specific needs.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services
819-934-2796

Media Relations  
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

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