A new location for White Buffalo Youth Lodge in Saskatoon is closer to reality.
A city committee gave approval Monday for administration to enter into formal discussions with the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) for the development of the facility at the location of a new public elementary school.
It also includes a new recreational facility.
City council needs to approve the committee’s recommendation before administration moves forward with discussions.
STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand told committee members a new centre would be a win for the city.
“It’s also going to be a turning light in a neighborhood that needs a new school, a new opportunity for a facility,” he said.
“This is a great way to look at it.”
Arcand added it would also be a win for the community and the new school.
“We can open it up (to) community organizations that don’t have any other facilities,” he said.
“I think enhancing that ability really meets the needs of the community and the public.”
The Saskatoon Tribal Council and Saskatoon Public Schools entered discussions for a new recreation and wellness centre after the school division announced the new location for Princess Alexandra School on Avenue H South in June 2021.
A report from city administration believes there is an opportunity to invest in a new White Buffalo Youth Lodge at the same site.
Among the committee members supporting the report was Mayor Charlie Clark.
He said a new facility will check off many boxes toward building a healthy society.
“Kids who can have a really good start to life by having programs and safe places and opportunities for mentorship and to get into sports or arts or whatever it might be,” he told committee members.
“And having a facility like this to me is a really important next step in the work that we’re doing around reconciliation and also around equity and creating a community that works for everyone.”
Discussions between the STC and city administration will centre on partnerships, roles and responsibilities.