The Montreal Lake Cree Nation is getting 22 cabins from the University of Saskatchewan’s shuttered Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus site, which will serve as much needed housing during COVID-19 pandemic.

“Montreal Lake Cree Nation, which has closed its borders to reduce the spread of COVID-19, inquired about obtaining the buildings in late March, with the USask Board of Governors approving the request on March 30. In addition to removing the cabins, a process that continues, but is almost complete, Montreal Lake will also be taking down the dining hall, a building which is no longer meeting safety standards,” said Associate Vice President, Services Wade Epp.

The cabins are structurally sound, but not yet winterized, with the First Nation aware of the condition and will need to be altered in the coming months.

“The cabins moved exclude any buildings on the campus of historical interest to the university, and do not have permanent foundations, making them easier to move and retrofit to meet urgent basic housing needs in the Indigenous communities, during the pandemic,” Epp explained.

Epp said the University is committed to the reclamation of the Kenderdine Campus site with plans on redeveloping it for future use.