Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to congratulate the Atikokan High School on the 40th anniversary of their Outers Program. It is the longest running outdoor adventure education program in a publicly funded school in Canada. Atikokan is a wonderful community in the heart of Quetico.
This program is designed to present physical and emotional challenges beyond that which an average individual encounters in everyday experiences. This develops confidence and self-reliance while demonstrating the importance of creating good interpersonal relationships and teamwork to overcome adversity.
Since its inception in 1965, there have been over 2,500 graduates. The Outers Program remains the cornerstone of the educational experience at Atikokan High School and is the single most influential experience in the lives of high school students. It has been described as a rite of passage and a cultural icon. It has become a part of Atikokan's heritage. This natural progression has made the program part of the fabric of this community.