Canada announces funding for new school in Burwash Landing

News release

Burwash Landing, Yukon, September 26, 2022—Today, Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Jeanie McLean, Yukon’s Minister of Education; and the Honourable Nils Clarke, Yukon’s Minister of Highways and Public Works, announced preliminary joint funding of $22.5 million for the construction of a new school in Burwash Landing. The final value of the contract to build the school will not be determined until the procurement phase of the project concludes.

The new public school, or Kêts’ádań Kų̀, which means “house of learning” in the Southern Tutchone language of Kluane First Nation, will replace the aging Kluane Lake School located in Destruction Bay. For more than 60 years, the existing school has been populated primarily by students residing in or near Burwash Landing who have had to rely on buses to get to and from school. The construction of this new Kêts’ádań Kù in Burwash Landing will better serve children and families in the community for years to come.

By investing in rural, remote and northern infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing our country’s economy, increasing the resiliency of our communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.

The Government of Canada is investing up to a maximum of $10,875,000, and the Government of Yukon will be contributing at least $11.7 million to match Canada’s investment. 

Quotes

“We are proud to partner with Kluane First Nation and the Government of Yukon on this important project. This new school or Kêts’ádań Kų̀ (learning house) will provide students and educators in Burwash Landing with a local facility to learn and access valuable educational opportunities right in their community. The Government of Canada will continue to work collaboratively with different levels of government and First Nations partners to make meaningful infrastructure investments in our territory and across the country.”

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities 

“Through this project we are honouring the longstanding request of Kluane First Nation and the school community to move the new Kêts’ádań Kų̀, a learning house, to Burwash Landing. This major milestone demonstrates our government’s commitment to building this new school. I look forward to continuing to work with Kluane First Nation as we move closer to breaking ground on the Kêts’ádań Kù.”

The Honourable Jeanie McLean, Yukon’s Minister of Education

“This is another positive step towards reconciliation and working together with Yukon First Nations. This is an excellent opportunity to work together on a major project that will benefit the students and families of Burwash Landing, provide great economic opportunities for the community and serve the community’s needs now and into the future. We’re pleased to bring this longstanding request to fruition.”

The Honourable Nils Clarke, Yukon’s Minister of Highways and Public Works

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Government of Canada and Government of Yukon to build a school in Burwash Landing. The recent collaboration between our governments is an example of reconciliation in action. Education has been a priority for Kluane First Nation for generations, and a new school in Burwash Landing is the culmination of decades of tireless effort by many Kluane First Nation citizens. The Kêts’ádań Kų̀ will be infused with KFN language, tradition and culture, and will serve the broader community as a whole for years to come.”

Chief Bob Dickson of Kluane First Nation

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada’s investment comes from the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

  • Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups.

  • Under the Investing in Canada Plan, the federal government 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.

  • Over the past 6 years, the Government of Canada has invested more than $306 million in over 60 infrastructure projects across the Yukon under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

  • During that period, over $47.4 billion has been invested in communities by Infrastructure Canada across the country to support world-class infrastructure projects.

  • In June 2020, after many years of discussions, Kluane First Nation and the Government of Yukon signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a commitment to plan and construct a new school in Burwash Landing. 

  • In the Government of Yukon’s 2022-23 Five-year Capital Plan, an estimated budget of $20-28 million was included for a new school in Burwash Landing. The final value to build the school will not be determined until the procurement phase concludes.

  • Infrastructure Canada helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day—ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, and environmental threats to our water and land.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information (media only), please contact:

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
343-574-8116
Jean-Sebastien.Comeau@iga-aig.gc.ca

Krisandra Reid
Communications Analyst, Department of Education
Government of Yukon
867-336-0653
krisandra.reid@yukon.ca

Kluane First Nation Media Contact
For media requests with Kluane First Nation, please contact the Government of Yukon (krisandra.reid@yukon.ca), as listed above.

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: media-medias@infc.gc.ca
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