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Adams Lake celebrates the grand reopening of the Chief Atahm School

Press Release

From: Indigenous Services Canada

School to benefit from high speed internet, improved Wi-Fi

August 15, 2019 — Chase, Secwépemc Territory, British Columbia — Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is working with First Nations to invest in new and enhanced school facilities on reserves so that students can benefit from a full range of educational opportunities.

Today, The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated Adams Lake on the reopening of the Chief Atahm School. Recently renovated and expanded, the state-of-the-art school accommodates 157 students from kindergarten to Grade 10 and offers classes in the traditional Secwépemc language.

The Government of Canada invested $2.7 million for the renovation and expansion of the Chief Atahm School.

The school is equipped with high speed internet, upgraded networking equipment and better Wi-Fi thanks to a connectivity project led by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), with support from the First Nations Schools Association. The connectivity project is bringing high speed Internet to 111 First Nations school sites in BC. This includes upgraded networking equipment, enhanced security for connected equipment, content filtering suitable for classroom settings, and better Wi-Fi access for schools in 90 communities. The schools have also been equipped with more computers and faster, more secure access to digital resources.


“This school is a testament to the strength and vision of the parents, back in the late 1980s who were determined to foster a Secwépemc-speaking community living in balance with nature. Our government is investing in facilities like Chief Atahm School to build on that legacy, so that First Nations students get the best start in life. I am thrilled to be part of this reopening celebration as Chief Ataham School prepares to welcome students for a new year.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Chief Atahm School is a quality immersion school, where students are taught about balance in the natural world, as they practice the principle of cultural sustainability.”

Kukpi7 (Chief) Clifford Arnouse
Adams Lake Indian Band

“We congratulate Chief Atahm School and hope the connectivity project brings exciting learning opportunities to its students in the coming years. Technology and connectivity play an important part in supporting First Nations students to thrive in contemporary society, confident in their skills, self-identities, languages and cultures.”

Tyrone McNeil
President, First Nations Education Steering Committee

Quick facts

  • Adams Lake is located in Chase, British Columbia, and has 806 members.
  • The Chief Atahm School is a Secwépemc immersion school developed in 1991.
  • Indigenous Services Canada invested just over $5.4 million in funding over two years (2017-18 and 2018-19) for the connectivity project. A further $11.3 million has been committed over five years (until 2023) for ongoing maintenance and connectivity upgrades.
  • All 111 school sites that are a part of the connectivity project are funded under the BC Tripartite Education Agreement: Supporting First Nation Student Success, which will benefit First Nations students, schools and communities across the province.
  • The connectivity project is leveraging infrastructure being built in rural and remote BC communities through the Government of Canada’s Connect to Innovate program and the Province of British Columbia’s Connected Coast program.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Kevin Deagle
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services

Thane Bonar
Director of Communications and Policy
First Nations Education Steering Committee

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
[email protected]


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