A possible relocation and upgrade of the White Buffalo Youth Lodge in Saskatoon has passed another hurdle.

On Monday night a city committee approved formal discussions between the Saskatoon Tribal Council and city council on the relocation of the facility.

The new facility would potentially be constructed alongside a new public elementary school currently in the works for the area. The site would also include a new recreational facility for the city.

According to STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand, the White Buffalo Youth Lodge was seeing around 35,000 kids a year and some of them had to be turned away because of capacity issues.

“We need a bigger gymnasium, bigger kitchen, more multi-purpose rooms, which are really going to make a quality presence in the City of Saskatoon to serve the community in a much better fashion,” Chief Arcand told MBC News on Tuesday.

The STC and Saskatoon Public School initially began discussions in June about the new elementary school making space for a relocation of the youth lodge.

Tribal Chief Arcand says a new and upgraded White Buffalo Youth Lodge would be beneficial for the entire city.

“This is an Indigenous-led investment here and at the end of the day it will be inclusive to everyone,” he said. “It is a multifaceted approach and we are very proud of it.”

The next step forward will come at a city council meeting later this month where city council will decide whether or not to continue with the possible relocation.

(PHOTO: The White Buffalo Youth Lodge in Saskatoon.  Photo courtesy of sktc.sk.ca)