For immediate release
Government of Canada announces investment to expand and upgrade the Pegamigaabo School
Morson, Ontario, September 6, 2022—Today, Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and Lynn Indian, Chief of Big Grassy River First Nation, announced over $2.9 million to expand and upgrade the Pegamigaabo School to help meet the cultural, educational and environmental needs of Big Grassy River First Nation.
“Investing in green upgrades to public infrastructure makes sense for our environment, our communities, and our economy,” said Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “The upgrades and expansion to the Pegamigaabo School will reduce operational costs and GHG emissions while also increasing space and resources available for youth programs and Ojibway language instruction. Our Government will continue to work with its Indigenous, provincial/territorial and municipal partners to invest in local community infrastructure, promote climate action, and build more resilient and inclusive communities across Canada.”
“Big Grassy River First Nation is extremely excited at the opportunity being provided to the children of the Community in being selected as one of the recipients of the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program for the Retrofit and Expansion project,” said Lynn Indian, Chief of Big Grassy River First Nation. “This project will allow our children of the community access to safe, reliable, and healthy learnings environments which will provide an important foundation to life learning.”
The First Nation will retrofit the Pegamigaabo School with solar panels, high-efficiency windows and power-assisted doors. Installing a 135-kilovolt rooftop solar system on the school will lower its operating costs and allow it to continue operations during a grid disruption. These improvements will reduce the facility’s energy consumption by an estimated 59.9% and greenhouse gas emissions by 18.4 tonnes annually. Big Grassy River First Nation will also be expanding the school with an extra 200 m2 of space that will include a new pre-kindergarten classroom and an Ojibway language classroom.
This investment will help the community to realize significant cost savings that can be reapplied towards other improvements at the school and to expand the programs it offers. In addition, the expansion will provide more space to supporting young, growing minds and help preserve the Anishinaabemowin culture.
- The Government of Canada is investing over $2.9 million through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program.