Ottawa funds First Nation tourism projects

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Two tourism-related community projects at Seine River First Nation in northwestern Ontario received more than $1.15 million in FedNor funding.

The first installment of $812,242 is for a new cultural centre.

The 7,500-square-foot building will offer room for workshop spaces where traditional skills, crafts and other activities can take place with space set aside for exhibition and archival storage areas.

Funding is also earmarked to hire curatorial and heritage interpretative specialists for the centre. Construction on the building has already started.

Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak delivered the news, Aug. 14.

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Seine River is 300 kilometres west of Thunder Bay, near the community of Mine Centre.

The second installment of $373,410 is for upgrades to the community’s fishing camp with new electrical systems, cabins, docks, water and wastewater systems, and repairs to the boathouse. A green energy system will be installed utilizing solar, wind and water turbines to generate electricity.

“These priority projects will address a community need for facilities to foster and promote local entrepreneurs and artisans, host tourism events, and strengthen ties and partnerships with other communities,” said Rusnak in a statement.

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“By investing to help build this multi-use centre and upgrade the community’s fishing camp, our government is strengthening the economic outlook for the citizens of Seine River First Nation.”

Chief Thomas Johnson said the funding creates new tourism-related business opportunities in the community. “I am pleased that the federal government recognizes our unique needs and is investing to make our community a better place to live, work and visit.”

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