By Roman Hayter


In February 2021, Thunderchild First Nation Child and Family Services submitted an official proposal to SaskBuilds and Procurement about the programs the space could be used for. The donation was later approved by the Ministry of Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety to move the facility.

Fred Tarr, who worked with youth in custody at the former North Battleford Youth Center for over 30 years, said the cultural lodge that was moved was initially a part of the North Battleford Youth Center.

“It was part of the infrastructure at the North Battleford Youth Center, and when the Ministry announced that it was closing the youth center, one of my concerns was the cultural lodge on the grounds, and of course the lodge itself had seen much use while it was still in operation,” Tarr explained. “I just had a hard time thinking from a cultural perspective and from a perspective of respect about watching the lodge potentially go under the blade of a bulldozer. I had visions of further youth and thankfully was able to help make that happen.” He said that the lodge that was moved to the community is fairly large.

“It’s fairly large; I think it has a footprint of about, I wanna say, 30 feet by 30 feet, and that’s just the main structure of the lodge; there’s a couple of little wings that go out, and basically the interior is lined with cedar, and the construction itself was based on the direction given to the facility by the elder that we, the North Battleford Youth Center, were using at that time, along with the guidance of our cultural coordinator,” said Tarr.

The cultural center was moved in February 2021 and reopened in December 2022.

Photo courtesy of the Saskatchewan Government