Joint funding has been announced for projects that will improve community, cultural, and recreational facilities in five First Nation communities in Ontario.

“Community spaces and recreational centres are at the heart of places where people want to live and raise their families,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of infrastructure and communities. “In partnership with First Nation communities across Ontario, we are investing to upgrade community buildings and cultural centres that residents can enjoy for years to come. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

The Government of Canada is investing over $7.1 million towards these projects through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is providing over $1.7 million and recipients are contributing over $1.2 million to their respective projects.

“Ontario is investing in these Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program projects to protect the health and the economy of everyone in these First Nation communities,” said Laurie Scott, Ontario’s minister of infrastructure. “These investments will ensure these facilities are upgraded to meet the needs of each community for many years to come.”

In Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, improvements and upgrades to the Native Horizons Treatment Centre will allow clients to once again have access to important treatment and healing programs after a 2018 fire destroyed part of the centre. Work involves rebuilding portions of the building including the addition of multipurpose and spiritual rooms, and the construction of spaces for trauma-informed programming and cultural and land-based activities. Renovations will also occur to client lounge and laundry rooms, as well as the kitchen and dining areas.

“Native Horizons Treatment Centre Board, staff, and communities are truly grateful for the approval of this project,” said Wanda Smith, executive director of the Native Horizons Treatment Centre. “Since the fire, we have received over 3800 truly heart-breaking calls from our communities seeking support in their recovery and healing journeys. Our new facility will finally be able to provide culturally specific, holistic and trauma conscious programming too individuals, families, and communities. As well as relieving some of the back log at other Indigenous treatment centres created by our absence.”

An additional four projects will enhance the quality of community and recreational infrastructure in four First Nation communities across Ontario, by providing modern and functional facilities where all residents can access valued programs and services. These projects include upgrades to:

  1. Community beaches in Bearskin Lake First Nation.
  2. Renovations to the historical library building at Beausoleil First Nation
  3. The creation of a new ice plant and the rehabilitation of a multipurpose room for Kingfisher Lake First Nation.
  4. The construction of a housing facility to support residents though quality social and community services in Pikangikum First Nation.

“Cultural infrastructure is significant for Indigenous communities like Beausoleil First Nation,” said Jill Dunlop, associate minister of children and women’s issues and member of provincial parliament for Simcoe North. “Our government is taking action to help the families and community members who benefit from the revitalization project planned for the historic public library, including the improvements to make it more accessible for all individuals.”

All orders of government continue to work together for the people of Ontario to make strategic infrastructure investments in communities across the province when needed most.

Header Image Credit: Native Horizons Treatment Centre.

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