Ontario Building Culture and Learning Centre in Naicatchewenin First Nation

Posted on October 20, 2023

NAICATCHEWENIN – The Ontario government is providing $2 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for Naicatchewenin First Nation to build a culture and learning centre in the community. This investment will support healthy child development and culturally significant education and training opportunities in the Northwest.

“Today’s investment demonstrates our commitment to enhancing infrastructure and economic development opportunities for First Nation communities across Northern Ontario,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora–Rainy River. “We continue to make targeted investments through programs like the NOHFC that contribute to stronger, healthier and resilient Indigenous communities, and we couldn’t be happier for the families of Naicatchewenin First Nation.”

Naicatchewenin First Nation is using NOHFC funding to build a 14,700-square-foot culture and learning centre focusing on education and training, cultural and traditional teachings, family well-being, and child and family learning. The centre will help equip all community members with the knowledge, skills and capacity to lead a healthy and active lifestyle with strong pride in their identity and culture.

Currently, younger children travel 30-45 kilometres to attend daycare and school, and high school students travel 60 kilometres to attend the Fort Frances High School. This education and training hub will help community members access training closer to home to improve job readiness and employment skills, while having a safe daycare and after-school programing on-site.

The community of Naicatchewenin First Nation is very excited about the upcoming resurrection of the Culture and Learning Centre,” said Chief Wayne Smith, Naicatchewenin First Nation. “This building will hold many functional spaces such as childcare rooms that will host both day and after-school care, classrooms and learning rooms, office space and an elders traditional gathering room. There will also be outdoor areas for children to play and community members to gather for various activities. This building will bring many new opportunities for growth, family wellness and access to cultural spaces, which are key aspects of a prosperous community.”

The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $717 million in 5,875 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $2.3 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 9,260 jobs.

Quick Fact

  • The Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.

Additional Resources

  • The NOHFC’s Community Enhancement Program builds strong and resilient northern communities through targeted investments in critical infrastructure.

Media Contacts

Curtis Lindsay, Minister’s Office -- 437-240-7317 -- curtis.lindsay@ontario.ca

Media Desk, Communications Branch -- mediadesk.ndm@ontario.ca