Matawa Learning Centre Receives $16 Million in Funding

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Thunder Bay, Robinson Superior Treaty – The federal government is helping the Matawa Learning Centre.

An essential part of a student’s education is having a safe and healthy place in which to learn. By investing in new and upgraded school facilities that can meet their needs, the Government of Canada is supporting First Nations students and their families.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, today visited Thunder Bay, Robinson Superior Treaty, to announce further renovations to the Matawa Education and Care Centre.

These renovations include new classrooms, a gymnasium and a student residence. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is investing more than $16 million in these upgrades so that the centre may better serve to enrich educational experiences.

The Matawa Education and Care Centre first opened to students in 2018. It was converted from a retirement lodge to an education facility. ISC invested $1.9 million in the renovations required for the conversion.

The latest upgrades are expected to be completed by September 2020.

“Leaving your community to attend school can be difficult for students who live in remote communities. I am pleased to announce support for further renovations of the Matawa Education and Care Centre, which will help provide a safe environment to deliver quality education services and continue to provide programming vital to students’ success.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“We all must work to make sure the heartbreaking stories we heard from the Seven Youth inquest are never forgotten but also never repeated. This funding is one part of our government’s commitment to the safety and equality in education for Indigenous youth in Northwestern Ontario so they too have a fair chance to succeed.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“This investment of more than $16 million into the continued improvement of the Matawa Education and Care Centre is an important step forward for Thunder Bay. These funds will support Matawa in ensuring that Indigenous students who are required to move to Thunder Bay to attend Secondary Education have access to adequate education facilities and safe and healthy accommodations. Our government is committed to ensuring that students leaving home for school have a safe and supportive environment in our community, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts this investment will have.”

Don Rusnak
Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River

“We are happy that our students will have access to various supports in a safe environment while away from home. The support from the Government of Canada represents hope for our young people, who will one day be our leaders.”

Sharon Nate, Education Manager
Matawa First Nations Management

Quick facts

  • The opening and further renovations of the Matawa Education and Care Centre addresses the Seven Youth Inquest jury recommendations specific to ensuring adequate education facilities and safe and healthy accommodations for Indigenous students that are required to leave their community for secondary education in Thunder Bay.
  • Matawa First Nations Management is a Tribal Council consisting of nine First Nations communities. Five (Eabametoong, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, Nibinamik, and Webequie First Nations) are accessible by air or seasonal winter road, while the remaining four (Aroland, Long Lake #58, Constance Lake, and Ginoogmaing First Nations) are accessible by road throughout the year.