The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement in regards to her visit to Pikangikum and Cat Lake First Nations, Ontario, Oct. 13. Bennet issued the following statement:
“I would like to thank the Cat Lake and Pikangikum First Nations for welcoming me to Treaty 9 and Treaty 5 territory.
Yesterday, I learned a lot by listening to the youth from Cat Lake who shared their stories of hope and courage as well as their challenges. ?It’s important that we have these face-to-face discussions so that their voices are heard and become an essential part of the solutions.
In Pikangikum, I had the opportunity to take part in a cultural day where youth showcased with pride the new boardwalk they built through Project Journey. The youth leaders in the community are working hard to strengthen the social fabric of their community. It was exciting to witness the optimism and hope as we toured the newly opened school in Pikangikum First Nation.
It’s clear that in both Cat Lake and Pikangikum, these youth leaders are committed to making lasting improvements to the quality of life in their community. To truly improve the wellness, change the socio-economic reality and bring hope to communities, we must work in genuine partnership on the long-term investments in infrastructure, water and education that are needed, based on community-driven solutions.
That’s why, through Budget 2016, funding was provided for new housing projects and water and wastewater services in Cat Lake and Pikangikum First Nations. Our government is committed to working as a ?true partner with both communities as we move forward together.
It was an honour to spend the day with the youth of Cat Lake and Pikangikum to see the progress in these communities and to also hear directly from them on ways we can move forward together.”
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.