Backgrounder: Canada, British Columbia and Daylu Dena Council partner to build new multi-purpose community building and demolish former residential school, in Lower Post
British Columbia, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Infrastructure, Infrastructure Canada, TR Transport, backgrounders, general public, government, media
The Government of Canada is investing $11.5 million to build the new multi-purpose community building, including $10 million from Infrastructure Canada’s Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, and $1.5 million from Indigenous Services Canada. The Government of British Columbia is investing $1.5 million, and Daylu Dena Council is contributing $538,960.
Furthermore, Indigenous Services Canada is contributing an additional $1.3 million through the First Nations Solid Waste Management Initiative for the removal of hazardous materials and demolition of the remaining part of the former Lower Post Residential School. Between 2016-2019, $4 million was provided through the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan to assess and remediate the site.
Features of the new facility
Reflecting the community’s interests, culture and traditions, the new facility will provide administrative, recreational, educational, and cultural spaces for older youths and Elders.
This multi-purpose facility will include:
- outdoor recreational areas, landscaping and garden installations
- an indoor gym
- an industrial kitchen
- program rooms for beading, storytelling, and Elder’s Tea.
- administrative offices and meeting spaces
The facility will be a viable space to deliver social programs and promote economic development. This multi-purpose building, at the heart of the community, will be a place of pride for Kaska Dena and will support healing and growth in the community.
Demolition of the former Lower Post residential school
The former Lower Post residential school has been a painful reminder of the legacy of the residential schools system, especially for those who attended the school from 1951 to 1975.
Since 1993, the Government of Canada has worked closely with Daylu Dena Council on the environmental remediation of the site where the former residential school was located, in preparation for the demolition of what’s left of the building. Site remediation and hazardous materials removal are necessary to minimize any negative environmental impacts from the demolition or other related work.
Demolition of the remaining structure, which will be led by Daylu Dena Council, symbolizes healing and hope in the community. Indigenous Services Canada will continue to work with Daylu Dena Council until the demolition is completed.
Dismantling the last pieces of the former residential school and adding a new multi-purpose cultural building represent significant steps forward for reconciliation.