Minister Valcourt Congratulates the Atikamekw de Manawan on the Official Opening of Otapi High School

Oct 24, 2013, 14:48 ET from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

MANAWAN, QC, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, extended his congratulations to the Atikamekw of Manawan community on today's grand opening of the Otapi high school (César Newashish) following work to expand and renovate the school facility.

"The education and academic success of Aboriginal students is a priority for the Government of Canada," said Minister Valcourt. "Our government is determined to work with First Nation communities to ensure that students have access to quality learning environment."

"The Atikamekw of Manawan Council and the Educational Services Branch are facing major challenges, with a school population that is increasing year after year, leading to constantly growing needs in terms of classroom space," said Paul-Émile Ottawa, Chief of the Atikamekw of Manawan Council. "We would like to thank the Government of Canada as the project has received substantial funding from Ottawa."

The Otapi school, built in 1996, serves about 275 students from Secondary 1 to Secondary 5 (grades 7 to 12). The building needed additional space to accommodate the anticipated increase in the number of students over the next five years. The project was made possible through an investment of approximately $3.1 million under Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada continues to make major investments, approximately $200 million annually, to support school infrastructure in First Nations communities across the country.

The Atikamekw of Manawan community, located 120 kilometres west of La Tuque and 72 kilometres north of Saint-Michel-des-Saints, has 2,588 members, 2,212 of whom live on reserve. For further information, please consult the Community Profile.

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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada