Clarification and correction on Healing Lodge project

Logo from the Wakaw Recorder website,

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder

According to Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, the project proposed by MN-S in the Rural Municipality of Fish Creek, the Métis-Distinct Land-Based Healing Lodge, is still very much only a concept.

Responding to the article published in the January 25, 2024, edition of The Wakaw Recorder, MN-S reached out with a few clarifications that need to be made to the story. Métis Nation-Saskatchewan made an offer on river lots in the latter half of 2023, and that offer was made with a condition attached relating to the potential rezoning of the said land to commercial zoning. 

The proposed Healing Lodge project is still far from becoming a reality, with the discussions with the RM Council and members of the public as some of the very first steps in the process. Before presenting a project proposal to municipal governments or the public, potential developers need to have more than just an idea of what they want to do.

The concept of the project needs to be fleshed out to the point that it can be seen as viable. An idea written down becomes an ambition; an ambition with planning becomes a concept; a concept with support becomes a proposal; a proposal with investment becomes a project; a project with hard work becomes a reality. The background noise in the foyer of the Rec Centre on the evening of the meeting, which was apologized for by the organizers, did factor into some of the confusion surrounding the information shared at the beginning of the meeting.

Further clarification was provided by Métis Nation-Saskatchewan regarding the build. MN-S has not yet initiated the tendering process as the whole project hinges on the rezoning of the land in question. A public hearing will be held before the regularly scheduled meeting of the RM Council on February 12th starting at 9:00 am.

The reference to 3twenty Modular, who was awarded the tender for the youth lodge currently under construction on the MN-S land at Batoche, was meant to highlight that with the right partners, a building project of this size can be completed in a smaller window of time such as what was outlined on the information sheet provided to residents of the rural municipality.

Should the Council of the RM of Fish Creek move to go forward with rezoning the land in question, then the proposed project will be able to move forward, and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan will initiate the public tendering process. The winner of the tender will have to meet all of the criteria that will be set forth in the invitation to tender.

MN-S did affirm that if the proposed project does move forward, it will focus on giving work to Saskatchewan people, and tenders from any Saskatchewan company will be considered. It is the goal of MN-S to have local people involved in all stages of the proposed project where possible from procurement to sub-trades to employees.

Without the support of the RM of Fish Creek, as per the rezoning of the parcel of land in consideration, the project will not proceed as currently proposed and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan will go ‘back to square one.’ This is a developing story, stay tuned for more updates.