PM Trudeau announces funding for La Loche high school in Saskatchewan
In 2017, one year after the terrible tragedy that hit La Loche, I had the chance to sit down with ten remarkable young people from this community and we had a conversation that stuck with me, because I remember being struck by their resilience, by their determination to make a positive difference in the world. These young women and men refused to let their dreams be extinguished by a senseless moment of violence. When faced with tragedy they responded with hope; with a will to make things better.
This morning, I was once again able to see the enormous potential of the young people in the community. We will never forget the tragedy that occurred in 2016, but at the same time, it does not define La Loche. The people here are known for their strength and solidarity. And as you move forward on the road to recovery, you can count on our support. We are here for you and together we will start this new chapter.
When I was here in 2016, I told this community; the students, teachers, parents, friends that we were standing behind you, that all of Canada was supporting you as you healed. So when you asked for more help, our government listened and responded. We’re investing in new programs and resources for Dene High School, funding cultural and language-based programs, on-the-land activities, and mental health services for students. This is about listening to you. After all, you are best placed to know what your school community needs. So this investment of more than $2.2 million over five years will help Dene High School begin to write a new chapter.
Today’s announcement builds on efforts that have already been made, whether it is to fund the provision of mental health services or to invest more than $2 million to engage at‑risk youth and their families. Our government will continue to support La Loche and the Clearwater River Dene Nation, just as we support a host of communities across the country.
Everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, deserves a real and fair chance at success. Part of that is making sure that people have access to the basics, which is why we’re investing in affordable housing across northern Saskatchewan.
And the other part of course is dealing with the wrongs of yesterday so that we can create a better today. In other words, continuing to make progress on the journey of reconciliation; progress that’s based on a new relationship of respect and partnership; progress that builds a brighter future for young people like the students here at Dene High School. As a father and former teacher I know that any educator or parent will say the same thing: that our number one job is to set our kids up to thrive.
As a government it’s our responsibility too. That’s what this announcement is all about, empowering young people and demonstrating that we believe deeply in their incredible potential, because you, the students here today in this school show us the way forward. Every day as they learn in these classrooms and walk through these halls, they remind us that even out of tragedy, hope will find a way. As kids do everywhere across the country and around the world, every day they remind us that a better future starts today and it starts with all of them and all of you.