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Matawa Education Centre finishes renovations

By CJ Goater Oct 2, 2023 | 12:13 PM

Matawa First Nations Management held a grand opening for the Matawa Education and Care Centre.

MFNM has provided high school services to Matawa students since 2010 in Thunder Bay on the traditional territory of Fort William First Nation. The services were deemed inadequate in meeting students’ various needs.

Sharon Nate, Matawa Education Executive Director explained this started as a vision within their community  “It started at our community level, and from there it grew, to establishing a business plan, a budget plan, and then having meetings with funders and government and then going through the construction phase and implementing all the programming that we have here and then into (the) final product.”

In 2017, the City of Thunder Bay transitioned a surplus municipal property the former Grandview Lodge Home for the Aged to MFNM, allowing it to become the Matawa Education & Care Centre.

In 2019 students began utilizing the centre as it underwent renovations.

This weekend’s grand opening marked the completion of construction/renovations to indoor spaces of the MECC. These spaces include a kitchen, classrooms, Student Care Centre, a gymnasium and more.

The overall cost for the entire project since 2018, was $23M with federal governments making a majority of the investment.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu noted the centre’s opening was well timed as it fell just before the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. “Before reconciliation, there has to be truth, and that education is a key piece to that truth,” stated Hadju.