Mi’kmaq people on P.E.I. will soon have a dedicated centre where they can gather, celebrate and access vital community supports.
Charlottetown MP Sean Casey, Premier Dennis King, Chief Junior Gould of the Abegweit First Nation and Chief Darlene Bernard of the Lennox First Nation announced $4.2 million in funding for the construction of the Prince Edward Island Urban Indigenous Centre in Charlottetown Aug. 21.
"This project represents a tremendous opportunity for the Mi'kmaq to advance our self-government goals, promote Mi'kmaq culture and also to enhance much needed program and service delivery to the entire urban Indigenous population," said Bernard, also a co-chairman with the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I.
Project construction began this summer and involves building a three-storey, accessible Indigenous centre on the Charlottetown waterfront.
It will have space devoted to Indigenous programming and service delivery, as well serving as a gathering place to promote Mi'kmaq culture.
The new facility, owned jointly by the Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations, will also house the Mi'kmaq Leadership Assembly space and will have core First Nation tenants, through the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. and the P.E.I. Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative.
The government of Canada is investing over $4.2 million in this project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Stream (CCRIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.
This project has been approved to receive $350,000 through Employment and Social Development Canada under the Enabling Accessibility Fund. Indigenous Services Canada is providing $100,000. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has previously announced $750,000 in funding towards this project.
"The new P.E.I. Urban Indigenous Centre will provide a venue to connect Indigenous people in Prince Edward Island with their culture and offer customized services. It will be a place where community members can learn from one another and continue to build a bright future," said Casey.