Sod turning on the Pasqua First Nation. Photo by Manfred Joehnck.

The Pasqua First Nation, about 70 kilometers northeast of Regina, will soon be home to a culture and youth centre, as a result of new funding by Indigenous Affairs Canada.

Sod turning for the 750-thousand dollar facility was held today.

Chief Todd Peigan credits the new Liberal government for recognizing the need and providing the money.

The chief says the centre will play a major role on the First Nation.

“This facility is not just going to be used by youth for a place to gather and hangout,” he said. “There is going to be workshops, there is going to be elders teaching, there is going to be language classes, there is going to be history classes, in regards to our youth knowing what our history is.”

Tyree Cyr is a youth representative for the Pasqua First Nation. He took part in today’s sod turning, saying the youth centre will help become a gathering point and a place to learn.

“It’s going to be a place where we are going to be able to teach other, we are going to be able to form bonds, we are going to strengthen our relationships with each other,” he said.

Band Councillor, Fabian Ironeagle was tasked with coming up with the proposal after Indigenous Affairs gave the First Nation the go ahead in June. He says everything came together quickly and the project was approved in just six weeks.

“So, it’s a very exciting time for us here on Pasqua — our youth are very important to us,” he said. “You know our leadership, our chief, our band council, our philosophy is, it takes a community to raise a child, and that is basically what we are doing.”

Construction will begin immediately, with a completion date scheduled for July 2017.