‘It’s an exciting time for us’: MN-S breaks ground on new community hub

Elders, MN-S dignitaries, provincial leaders, and children from the Aboriginal Head Start Program pose for a photo on the site of the new Ma Faamii Community Hub and Early Learning and Childcare (ELCC) Centre of Excellence in southwest Prince Albert on Wednesday, May 22. -- Métis Nation-Saskatchewan photo.

Dignitaries, elders, and children officially broke ground on a new Métis Nation–Saskatchewan cultural and educational centre in southwest Prince Albert on Wednesday.

The centre will house the new Ma Faamii Community Hub, which will help connect Métis citizens with support programs for themselves and their families. It will also house the new Early Learning and Childcare (ELCC) Centre of Excellence, which will open up 90 childcare spaces for Métis families.

“It’s an exciting time for us at Métis Nation—Saskatchewan,” MN-S Director of Social Infrastructure Jason Mercredi said. “We’ve been looking for ways for a while to get our footprint across the province, and this is going to help us not only do that, but make a big impact for Metis citizens and all of PA.”

Mercredi said Prince Albert has the second highest concentration of Métis citizens in Saskatchewan. With those numbers, he said it made sense for the organization to increase its presence.

“(We’re) incredibly excited for us to be able to open up a low cost childcare centre in Prince Albert there,” he said. “(Having) 90 spaces is going to make an impact, and it’s also on the training side of things and employment side of things where we’re going to see long-term impacts in being able to support the community.”

The ELCC Centre of Excellence will create 29 full-time and four part-time jobs. It will also provide training and practicum opportunities for ELCC educators through a partnership with the Gabriel Dumont Institute.

The Ma Faamii Service Centre will create six new full-time positions.

The new building will be constructed on a 26-acre parcel of land of 10th Avenue West, south of the Jumpstart Playground and Alfred Jenkins Field House. MN-S is also exploring options for further development on the site.

Mercredi expects construction on the Community Hub and Centre of Excellence to end in 2025, but said it might get pushed to 2026.

“Construction, you never know the way it’s going to go,” he said.

“We have really good partners in PCL on the build side of things. They’re very capable of working on these types of projects, and we think it’s going to be on a timeframe we need it to be.”

MN-S President Glen McCallum was one of a handful of dignitaries in Prince Albert for the ground-breaking. McCallum he is glad to see construction underway.

“I was happy to stand alongside colleagues and partners today at the ground breaking ceremony for our Métis Centre of Excellence Early Learning and Childcare Centre in Prince Albert,” McCallum wrote on Facebook. “The new Centre will provide 90 daycare spaces for Prince Albert Metis families and act as a venue to share and grow our identity, culture, values, and language.

“The purchase and development of the land is part of our priority as a Métis government to build a future for Métis children and families.”