A ribbon cutting officially opens the Saulteaux Youth Recreational and Cultural Centre. Photo courtesy FSIN.

(Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatoon, SK) — A new recreation facility on Saulteaux First Nation opened on Friday and is a place for youth and elders to come together in a healthy, safe environment.

“We wanted to make a space where the elders and the youth can come together. They can come out and play some pool, work out. It keeps the kids busy and out of trouble,” said Saulteaux First Nation Chief Kenny Moccasin. “The leadership has been dreaming of this for a long time. We made it a reality. The people are pretty excited about the grand opening.”

The new facility is right in the heart of the community, adjacent to the newly-renovated hockey arena.

“It’s all walking distance. The elders can come have coffee, play cards and hang out. Everything’s close,” said Chief Moccasin.

“One way to address the crisis among our youth is to make sure they have healthy social outlets,” said Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron. “A multi-purpose space like this has something for every citizen of the Saulteaux First Nation. It will bring together the whole community.”

The cost of the new 4,000 square foot facility was paid for through own-source revenues and a federal Recreation and Culture grant. It features a fitness area with $17,000 worth of equipment, four pool tables, ping pong and air hockey tables, computer stations, a popcorn machine, a projector for movie nights and hockey, and a lounge area equipped with a kitchen.

“We’re proud to see the Saulteaux Chief and council bring this project to completion – a recreation and cultural centre paid for by own-source revenues, built by and for the people of Saulteaux First Nation; a place for youth and elders to share knowledge, to mentor and offer their wisdom which includes oral teachings of Inherent and Treaty rights,” said Chief Cameron.

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