Attawapiskat First Nation Elementary School

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Architect's rendering of Attawapiskat First Nation New Elementary School

Attawapiskat First Nation Elementary School

Attawapiskat First Nation Elementary School is located in Attawapiskat, Ontario on the west side of James Bay.


Penn-Co Construction Canada Awarded Contract to Build Attawapiskat Elementary School

Ref. #2-3636 Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Attawapiskat First Nation New Elementary School

Ottawa, Ontario (March 6, 2012)

The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced that the Attawapiskat First Nation has awarded the construction contract to build its new school to Penn-Co Construction Canada (2003) Ltd. of Blumenort, Manitoba.

"Our Government believes that education is the foundation of strong, healthy communities. Since 2006, we have invested in 22 new schools, 22 major renovation projects and 184 projects involving minor renovations, and we made education a joint priority in the Joint Action Plan launched in 2011 with the Assembly of First Nations," said Minister Duncan. "We are committed to working in partnership with Attawapiskat First Nation to ensure that its youth receive a quality education."

"The children and parents of Attawapiskat rejoice with this announcement. Shannen Koostachin's dream was, in part, a safe and comfy school. We are happy that this part of her dream will soon be realized. I wish to extend thanks to all those involved, including the working group that has worked diligently for the past year to bring us to this stage," said Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence. "As Shannen said, 'Never give up.' The construction of the new school is a great accomplishment for our First Nation."

The Attawapiskat First Nation, in partnership with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, is responsible for managing all aspects of this project.

After a competitive public tendering process the First Nation awarded the contract to construct its new school to Penn-Co Construction Canada (2003) Ltd on March 6, 2012. The contractor has extensive experience working with remote First Nation communities on the construction of large facilities such as water treatment plants, hospitals, schools, and commercial buildings.

When completed, the 5,808-square-metre new school will accommodate 540 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

The new school is expected to open during the 2013-2014 school year.

Attawapiskat First Nation is located on James Bay approximately 220 kilometres north of Moosonee, Ontario and has an on-reserve population of approximately 1,870 people.

Source: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1331042853001


Penn-Co Construction Canada won the contract

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan announced Tuesday March 6, 2012 that Blumenort, Man.-based Penn-Co Construction Canada won the contract following a public tendering process.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence said the construction of the school will go a long way toward the improvement of the community.

"The children and parents of Attawapiskat rejoice with this announcement," Spence said in a news release Tuesday. "The construction of the new school is a great accomplishment for our First Nation."

Source: Regina Leader-Post http://www.leaderpost.com/life/Attawapiskat+contract+awarded/6261775/story.html


About Penn-Co Construction Canada

Penn-Co Construction Canada's current projects include:

  • Victoria General Hospital - Emergency Room Renovations in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Clearspring Middle School in Steinbach, Manitoba
  • Arborgate Middle School in La Broquerie, Manitoba
  • 2 McDonalds Restaurants in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Source: Penn-Co Construction Canada http://www.penn-co.com/currentprojects.html


Sharing a rare moment of unity

The federal government and members of a northern Ontario reserve are sharing a rare moment of unity to applaud a construction contract for school in Attawapiskat.

The community has been without an elementary school for 12 years because a former building was situated on a toxic ground site and had to be destroyed.

The government expects Attawapiskat's new school to accommodate 540 students from kindergarten to Grade 8.

"We are committed to working in partnership with Attawapiskat First Nation to ensure that its youth receive a quality education," Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan said Tuesday in making the announcement a contract has been awarded following a public tendering.

Theresa Spence, the chief of Attawapiskat First Nation, says children and parents in her community "rejoice with this announcement."

Shannen Koostachin, a young woman who grew up on the reserve, led a public social media campaign to call on the government to create a school in her community and for other aboriginal children across Canada. She died in 2010 before her dream was realized.

"Shannen Koostachin's dream was, in part, a safe and comfy school," said Spence. "We are happy that this part of her dream will soon be realized. As Shannen said, 'Never give up.' The construction of the new school is a great accomplishment for our First Nation."

Koostachin's best friend, Chelsea Edwards, is now working with opposition MPs and aboriginal advocates to rally for further government commitments to First Nation education.

The NDP, the Liberals and Assembly of First Nations (AFN) are waiting to see if the Conservatives' budget, to be unveiled March 29, features additional funding for First Nations education in other communities.

The AFN has said it would cost about $500 million more a year to bring reserve schools up to provincial standards across the country.

The government says it has invested in 22 new schools, 22 major renovation projects and 184 projects involving minor renovations at reserves across the country since 2006.

Source: The Toronto Sun
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/06/reserve-to-get-elementary-school-after-12-years