Improvements to support child and family services, new school infrastructure and an emergency shelter announced for Saskatchewan First Nations

News release

August 6, 2021 — Saskatoon, Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatchewan — Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with First Nations to narrow socio-economic gaps and support their goals for self-determination.

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, concluded a regional visit to Saskatchewan where he announced child and family services funding for the Saskatoon Tribal Council and federal community infrastructure investments that will see a new Kindergarten to grade 12 school built on a new site in Moosomin First Nation. Minister Miller also had the opportunity to meet with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council and the Prince Albert Grand Council to collaborate on shared priorities.

While visiting the province, Minister Miller congratulated the Saskatoon Tribal Council Child and Family Services for implementing their Progressive Funding Model that aims to strengthen families and provide communities with a full range of child and family services programming, including prevention and protection. The model is based on a comprehensive work plan developed by the Saskatoon Tribal Council Health and Family Services in partnership with member First Nations.

Minister Miller then travelled to Moosomin First Nation, where he was welcomed by Chief Bradley Swiftwolfe and heard about the community's plans to build a new Kindergarten to Grade 12 school. The education facility will replace the existing school and will be built on a new site better suited for land-based learning and future expansion. The community visit wrapped up with a fish fry feast.

Minister Miller also met with representatives of the Prince Albert Grand Council and discussed plans to build a new emergency safe shelter in Montreal Lake Cree Nation. The Prince Albert Grand Council plans to provide culturally appropriate services that help survivors of family violence recover from the trauma of their experiences and access support programming, as well as create a stable environment where Indigenous women and children can feel supported and begin their healing process.

The shelter is part of an initiative led by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation that will invest $4.39 million towards the construction in Montreal Lake Cree Nation. Indigenous Services Canada is providing $856,000 annually for shelter operations and programming for five years. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.

Quotes

"By working together, we are making progress to improve First Nations child and family services and close the infrastructure gaps in Indigenous communities. Supporting First Nations families and communities is an important part of the government's plan to build long-term economic resilience. Investing in First Nations family services, education, and emergency shelter will help to protect vulnerable women and children, and support the long-term growth and success of individuals, families, and communities as a whole ."

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has committed to investing $1.48 billion until 2021–2022 in First Nations school facilities, which includes $500 million from Budget 2014.

  • As of March 31, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada has invested more than $1.23 billion of targeted funds to support 203 school-related infrastructure projects, 133 of which are complete. These projects will benefit 243 First Nations communities, serving approximately 276,000 people. These projects include:

    • The construction of 66 new schools (benefiting approximately 20,000 students), of which 27 are complete
    • The renovation or upgrading of 86 existing schools (benefiting approximately 15,000 students), of which 71 are complete.
  • The Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families came into force on January 1, 2020, and provides a path forward for the transfer of jurisdiction over child and family services.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
adrienne.vaupshas@canada.ca

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

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