The Kahkewistahaw First Nation and Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services are building for the future. They have announced a partnership to build a new office building for YTCCFS, which will be located south of the Painted Hand Casino.
The planned office will be three storeys and have 30,000 square feet of space. The cost of the build is estimated to be $9 million.
Raymond Shingoose, executive director of YTCCFS, said it’s going to be a home for their staff to provide services to children and their families in the community, as well as for families and children living off reserve, in Yorkton, Regina, Saskatoon or wherever else they might be located. More importantly, it will consolidate their current five offices into one building.
“It would be much more beneficial if we brought all our staff under one roof.”
The building will be designed with the needs of YTCCFS at the forefront, which Shingoose said is going to help them make a building that works for the work they do and how they need to do it effectively.
“We’re going to design it for what we do, and how we deliver services the best way we know how, using cultural services, more culturally appropriate designed themes to help our families and children be culturally safe. What’s better than having a building designed in that fashion?”
Chief Evan Taypotat of the Kahkewistahaw First Nation said that from their end, the project has been in the works for about a year. They heard that YTCCFS needed a new facility, so they reached out to learn what the process was and how they could get involved and make a bid for the new facility.
This is not the only building project that Kahkewistahaw will undertake. They have big plans for land they own in Saskatoon, a new project called “Eagle’s Landing,” which will include a hotel and convention centre as well as a new building for the FSIN, along with other projects that have yet to be announced. The building projects that the First Nation is undertaking are intended to help their economic development, Taypotat explained.
“We’re kind of in a fortunate position right now where, you know, we have a bit of dollars we can spend. Our approach is to make those dollars make dollars for us, rather than spending those dollars and everything being gone. Right now we’re buying things and buying land that we can make money on for years and years and years to come. Our approach has been economic development from day one, the government is not going to change its stripes and we don’t want to be another First Nation waiting for dollars to stay afloat, we want to be above the water, and sailing on the water.”
This building will benefit children, Taypotat said, whether it’s those helped by YTCCFS or the kids who will benefit from the money Kahkewistahaw gains from lease and taxes from the build.
“Any building we put on this land means money and dollars for Kahkewistahaw First Nation so we can fund things like post secondary tuition, teachers salaries, hockey fees, and things like that. For us, dollars wise, it’s big for us.”
Taypotat said in his remarks that the economic development has been the result of a council that is fully on board and able to work together. Those council members include Iris Taypotat-Scribe, Michael Bob, Cory Alexson, William Kaysaywaysemat.
The build is expected to start in the fall, and YTCCFS hopes to move in at the beginning of 2023.