Published by Ontario Newsroom – Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry on March 4, 2022

SAULT STE. MARIE – The Ontario government is providing $1 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services and Waabinong Head Start Family Resource Centre to build a childcare facility that provides educational programs for Indigenous preschoolers and their families that promote the Anishinaabek culture and language in Sault Ste. Marie.

“This $1 million investment to build this new facility will increase access to licensed childcare and parenting supports for Indigenous families in the community,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “In addition to building a modern facility that houses important social services and essential supports for working families, this investment from our government will create 24 new jobs in our local economy.”

The new childcare space will provide a safe and secure learning environment, while allowing parents who participate in the program to access education and training for future employment.

“The availability of affordable and high-quality childcare is key to the peace of mind of parents as they go to school and work,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Our government is supporting Indigenous-focused childcare to ensure all Northern Ontario families have access to the supports they need.”

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 $473 million in 4,244 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.5 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 6,679 jobs.

“We are very grateful for this support from the Province of Ontario, NOHFC and from MPP Romano. This funding supported the construction of much needed space for child and family care services that are being delivered by Waabinong Head Start. Combined with supports provided by the Indigenous Friendship Centre and housing delivered by Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, Indigenous families are being provided the tools and environment for success. We know that when people have the opportunity to succeed, people succeed.” – Justin Marchand, Chief Executive Officer,  Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services

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