Construction underway on new school in Kingfisher Lake First Nation
Tim Brody - Editor
Construction is underway on a new school in Kingfisher Lake First Nation.
The new school project is being undertaken in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.
A June 13 media release distributed by Shibogama First Nations Council, informed that the new school, “will accommodate K4 through Grade 10, has a floor area of 2,446 square meters (26,328 square feet) and is sized to accommodate a student population of 153. In addition, the project also includes significant playfield development and a teacherage subdivision directly across from the school site with (4) duplexes and two (2) bungalows.”
The new school will replace the existing school which was originally constructed in in 1971.
The media release informed that, “The new school will increase educational programming space significantly and provide for two (2) additional grades (Grades 9 and 10). This new school will be a fusion of traditional cultural teaching within a modern classroom setting. The goal of this new facility is to equip Kingfisher’s youth with the interpersonal and technical skills to advance their life journey while ensuring that their unique and precious cultural heritage is maintained and strengthened.
“The facility will incorporate a high‐efficiency building envelope, HVAC systems, modern IT and teaching technologies. The school project includes the following features and services:
- 8 large classrooms
- Traditional learning classroom
- Elder’s lounge
- Cafeteria and Kitchen
- Gym with stage, volleyball, basketball and badminton courts
- Sensory and Health rooms
- Administration and Staff rooms
- Multiple large storage areas
- Bus drop‐off loop, softball field, soccer field, two playgrounds, outdoor basketball court, outdoor classroom and medicinal garden
- A teacherage subdivision directly across from the school site including four (4) duplexes and two (2) bungalows
- Water and sanitary servicing
The Government of Canada has committed an investment of $38.7 million to construct the new school.
“Construction is already in progress with mobilization of construction forces and materials completed on
the 2022 winter road. The completion date for the new school is summer 2023,” the media release informed.
“It’s been a long time coming. Our school was built in 1971 shortly after the people migrated from the Big Beaver House Settlement in 1965. I imagine there was excitement at that time but over the years, the school was run by outside resources. We had no control of the curriculum. With this new school, the people of Kingfisher Lake First Nation can proudly claim ownership and can control the programming their students are taught. A program where our culture and western society can come together to prepare our future, our kids,” stated Lott Sainnawap, Chief of Kingfisher Lake First Nation.
“Congratulations to Chief Lott Sainnawap and Council for their leadership in making this Kindergarten to Grade 10 school a reality. Students in Kingfisher Lake First Nation now have a better opportunity to receive a quality education that will inspire and set them on a path to future success. I am thrilled for the kids and families of Kingfisher Lake First Nation,” stated Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services.
“On behalf of Shibogama First Nations Council, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Kingfisher Lake Chief & Council on its successful achievement to finally build a new state of the art school facility for their precious children and future generation. The new school investment will offer kindergarten to Grade 10 programs and additional instruction resource spaces. For the past decade, the First Nations children endured and attended to their studies in a deteriorating, overcrowded and unsafe school building because education is important and necessary. With the commitment and investment of Indigenous Services Canada to fund the much‐needed replacement of the aging school building, it gives hope to all children and families to re‐energize, reclaim and take pride of their studies in the future. The new school facility will provide the community an opportunity to strengthen and transform its education system to success and new goals to offer grades 9 & 10 programming. We are excited for the leadership, families and mostly for the children who have been waiting for many years to have a new school. Shibogama wants to acknowledge and thank the government, Chief & Council and other key staff that made it possible to make a dream into a reality. Investing in the elementary and secondary education in the Northern isolated community will only bring positive opportunities and sustainable future changes in Kingfisher Lake,” concluded Matthew Angees, Executive Director, Shibogama First Nations Council.