The Catholic Division supports the Métis Nation in the purchase of the former Académie Rivier

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The Prince Albert Catholic School Division welcomed the news that the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S) wanted to purchase the former Rivier Academy.

Director of Education Lorel Trumier said in an interview that she hadn’t heard if the city council had approved the MN-S discretionary development permit, but was looking forward to seeing what the MN-S would make property.

“I can’t wait to see what the city has decided and I don’t see them putting obstacles in the way,” Trumier said.

“As a school division, we congratulate the Métis Nation on acquiring the facility and look forward to the promise of future partnerships and opportunities to work with them.

Trumier said the City of Prince Albert informed council of the permit application and possible sale in a letter dated April 12, but not received until April 19. This gave the board little chance to comment, as the submission deadline was also April 19, and the next board meeting was not held until April 25.

However, Trumier said he read the proposal and thought it was a great opportunity for the MN-S. They were also happy with the potential opportunities the deal would bring.

The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan sought to purchase the building from the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary for use as a private school, public assembly, food service, daycare, health clinic, and office.

The building housed the Blessed Marie Rivier Catholic School which was closed in 2017 due to low enrollment, with students transferring to the secondary school Ecole St. Mary.

In 2018, Saint Joseph Developments presented plans for a development at the resort, which never happened.

In 2019, the Ministry of Education announced the possibility of using it for students of the Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CÉF). The Société Canadienne-Française de Prince Albert (SCFPA) was concerned in 2021 and 2021 because the plan had not advanced. In 2020, the province announced that it had commissioned a third-party business plan for the concept.

The Fransaskois community of Prince Albert and its partners, including groups of elders, the Parents’ Council and staff of École Valois, members of the Métis community and representatives of French-language school boards, worked on an analysis of profitability relating to the purchase of the former Académie Rivier at the request of the Minister of Education.

The town’s French community has outgrown the Valois school and the old community center. It is insufficient to meet the expectations and needs of parents, students and other French-speaking citizens, including newcomers, in terms of the educational, sporting, economic and cultural potential of the community, said a press release.

The building was put up for sale by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary in August 2020.

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