New First Nations Trade School Officially Open

Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School on Edward Street

THUNDER BAY – First Nations Trade School at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay, which will provide students with hands-on training and prepare them for jobs in hospitality and the skilled trades.

“With the grand opening of the newly renovated First Nations Trade School at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, students now have access to the tools needed to pursue a career in the trades,” comments Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay- Atikokan.

“The First Nations Trade School will give our students opportunities to return home and start their own businesses in small engine repair, welding, electricity, plumbing, hospitality, and health and beauty. The possibilities are endless for the opportunities and the skills students will learn from the trade school. Not everyone is destined to go to college or university, and we need to provide opportunities for all our students to succeed in life,” says Norma Kejick, Executive Director, Northern Nishnawbe Education Council.

“Our government is excited to join the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council to celebrate the completion of the First Nations Trade School renovations. By investing in new and improved classrooms, we’re creating opportunities for First Nations students to develop meaningful skills that will help them and their communities reach their full potential,” says David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

The Ontario government provided funding to the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (NNEC) to renovate three classrooms geared towards skilled trades. Renovations include:

  • A new state-of-the-art manufacturing technology shop that will give students the tools they need to gain experience in welding.
  • Improved ventilation, lighting and electrical systems for the school’s transportation technology shop.
  • A new kitchen for the hospitality and tourism classroom to support expanded course offerings in food and nutrition.

Increasing learning opportunities for Indigenous students is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.

Investing in skills training is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


  • Ontario’s Aboriginal Community Capital Grants Program (ACCGP) provided $500,000 to the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (NNEC) to renovate the First Nations Trade School at the Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School.
  • The Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School services students in Grades nine to 12 from 24 First Nation communities in Ontario that do not have a high school available in the community.
  • ACCGP provides funding for First Nation communities and Indigenous organizations to build or renovate needed community infrastructure such as community centres, day care facilities or small business centres.
  • From 2003 to 2016, through the ACCGP Ontario has provided more than $38 million to Indigenous communities supporting 134 major and minor capital grants and related feasibility studies.


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