The Adams Lake Indian Band will be expanding Chief Atahm School, one of B.C.’s most successful immersion schools.
The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, announced on Feb. 23 funding support for nine innovative projects that will result in new school facilities for more than 20 First Nations communities across the country.
The minister made the announcement during her address to the Assembly of First Nations National First Nation Directors of Education Forum, where First Nation directors of education gathered to share successful education practices and discuss approaches to move forward on First Nation education.
The First Nations-led school facility projects will use innovative approaches to build school facilities that meet the needs of First Nation students on reserves.
By using innovative approaches to school construction, such as bundling projects and contracts, employing modular and pre-fabricated construction and using alternative financing measures, the projects will enable more First Nation students to benefit from new or renovated school facilities.
The new Innovation Fund recipients in B.C. include: Adams Lake Indian Band, Squiala First Nation, Old Massett Village Council First Nation and Westbank First Nation. Others are: Blood Tribe/Kainai (Alberta), Meadow Lake Tribal Council (Saskatchewan), Fisher River First Nation and Southeast Resource Development Council Corp (Manitoba) and the Innu Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam First Nation (Quebec).
“The Adams Lake Indian Band is excited to be a recipient of the Innovation Fund for education construction,” stated Adams Lake Band Chief Robin Billy in a news release. “This funding will be used to expand the Chief Atahm School, one of the most successful immersion schools in the province. This funding in design-partnership with the Westbank First Nation will provide much needed space for additional students.
“The Chief Atahm school is instrumental in preserving the Secwepemc language and culture for future generations and our community looks forward to starting this important project. Kucstsemc.”
Commented Chief Robert Louie of the Westbank First Nation:
“Westbank First Nation is excited to be working jointly with the Adams Lake Indian Band on school expansions of similar designs to enhance the educational and cultural learning experiences of our communities. The additional classrooms, multi-purpose areas and features that this project supports will allow for increased enrolment and an improved learning environment to better meet the needs of our growing community.”