Edmonton Indigenous Students to benefit from new and improved learning environment

News release

Edmonton, Alberta, May 24, 2019—Investing in educational and cultural infrastructure is key to creating a bright future for Canada’s children and preserving our diverse heritage, including the history and experiences of Indigenous Peoples.

Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, was joined by Laura Thibert, Board Chair of the Edmonton Catholic School District, to announce federal funding for the replacement of the Ben Calf Robe elementary and junior high school in Edmonton.

Ben Calf Robe serves Edmonton’s increasing urban Indigenous population with offerings like the Nehiyaw Pimatisiwin Cree Language and Culture Program.

The project involves constructing a new and improved facility with healthier, fully accessible learning spaces including larger windows and better ventilation. A new cultural space for Indigenous ceremonies and activities will also be created as part of the project.

This work will give the school more space to accommodate growing enrolment demands, and allow them to continue providing meaningful education and vital services to students in a safe healthy learning environment.

The Government of Canada is contributing $6 million to this project through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, while the Government of Alberta is providing $18.1 million and the Edmonton Catholic School District is providing $2 million through this partnership.


“The replacement of Ben Calf Robe School is a vital project that reflects our commitment to advancing reconciliation and renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. This new and improved school will ensure that more of Edmonton’s Indigenous students can benefit from high quality education in a modern, inclusive and healthy learning environment. Our government is proud to be investing in projects that promote education and preserve culture while contributing to economic growth and community development.”

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The Alberta government is proud to support the students of Ben Calf Robe School with a brand new school. Funding this important capital project here in Edmonton will enhance student learning with important programming in Cree language instruction, culturally appropriate music and dance, and Elder-directed teachings. The Ben Calf Robe replacement school is part of our commitment to building needed new schools in communities across the province.”

The Honourable Adrianna LaGrange, Minister of Education, Government of Alberta

“We thank both the federal and provincial governments for their support. Our District also looks forward to working closely with the Council of Elders and community to create a cultural space for students and families that honours the Indigenous culture as well as designing a modern kitchen and eating area to enhance the school’s focus on nutrition.”

Laura Thibert, Board Chair, Edmonton Catholic School District

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • $25.3 billion of this funding is supporting social infrastructure in Canadian communities.

Associated links


Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Lori Nagy
Manager of Media & Community Relations
Edmonton Catholic School District

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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