The Alaqsite’w Gitpu School broke ground on the new expansion this morning Tuesday, May 26th, 2020. The Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government is incredibly proud and grateful for all those involved in bringing this project to life.
The new expansion will include a cafetorium, music room, a room for ceremony, and an expanded gymnasium. It will cost approximately $8.5M and is currently fully funded by Indigenous Services Canada. Minister Marc Miller joined us via his Facebook live stream to help announce this exciting contribution. The site preparation has begun, and construction is expected to be complete by summer 2021.
Local businesswoman Victoria LaBillois was the MC for the event which was attended by teachers and those involved in the project. The event was purposefully kept small to allow for social distancing. Community members were able to join the celebration via Facebook Live.
Chief Darcy Gray spoke about how the groundbreaking was the culmination of many years of hard work and collaboration.
Mi’gmaw immersion teacher, Maddie Metallic, spoke on her experiences as a student at AGS and her transition to becoming a teacher. She is thrilled to see how Mi’gmaq identity among students has flourished over the years which the Alaqsite’w Gitpu School has helped foster.
Elder Joe Wilmot conducted the first part of his remarks in the Mi’gmaw, and spoke about the importance of revitalizing the language.
AGS Principal Jeff Grass recounted his experience moving into the current school building 25 years ago, and spoke optimistically about the changes that will accompany the expansion. He commented that the expansion does not reflect reconciliation in education, but rather equity in education because this project simply brings to AGS the resources that other schools have always had.
Director of Listuguj Education, Training, and Employment Lorna Sook shared the Directorate’s vision for a Mi’gmaq immersion school, a high school, and post-secondary institutions.
The event concluded with Director of Capital and Infrastructure, Jody Mitchell turning over the sod to signify the next step in the project.