Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

IMPROVEMENTS COMING – An expansion will be built onto the rear of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s Nàkwät’à Kų  (Potlatch House), seen Monday. The work is being funded by CanNor, the territorial government and the First Nation.

Kwanlin Dün Nàkwät’à Kų̀ will be expanded

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s (KDFN’s) Nàkwät’à Kų̀ (Potlatch House) in the McIntyre subdivision will be expanded and improved

By Whitehorse Star on January 10, 2017

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s (KDFN’s) Nàkwät’à Kų̀ (Potlatch House) in the McIntyre subdivision will be expanded and improved thanks, in part, to a $375,000 federal government grant.

Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), made the announcement Monday.

The Nàkwät’à Kų̀ is a central gathering place for citizens of Kwanlin Dün, other Yukon First Nations, and the broader Whitehorse community.

The renovations will reflect the culture, art, and history of the people of Kwanlin Dün, better equip the building to meet mounting use, and improve safety and functionality of the community space.

“With the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150), we are making a real, positive impact in communities across Canada,” Yukon MP Larry Bagnell said in a statement.

“Investing in these renovations will improve a safe and welcoming space for the indigenous people of Kwanlin Dün First Nation.

“Open community spaces like the Nàkwät’à Kų̀ are what bring people together to both celebrate our individuality and promote community-wide collaboration.”

CanNor is contributing $375,000 in addition to a $50,000 investment from the KDFN and $75,000 from the Government of Yukon.

“Nàkwät’à Kų̀ is a significant meeting place for our citizens and the people of Whitehorse,” said KDFN Chief Doris Bill.

“The renovations we are undertaking provide work to our businesses, improve the safety of and accessibility for all who visit here and, most importantly, reflect our culture, traditions and history.

“ Nàkwät’à Kų̀ means potlatch house,” the chief added.

“Potlatches are an important part of First Nation tradition – once denied, and now revived.

“Potlatches are gatherings that not only mark the passing of a life but also celebrate major events such as births and weddings; here, in this building, we have also hosted potlatches to celebrate the land.”

Thanking CanNor and the Community Development Fund for their financial contributions, the chief said the money will “improve and prolong the existence of this important community building.”

“The improved functionality of the Nàkwät'à Kų̀ Potlatch House will ensure it remains a central community gathering space for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Whitehorse community for years to come,” said Ranj Pillai, the minister of Economic Development.

“Spaces like the Nàkwät'à Kų̀ are vital to community well-being, and I look forward to the positive social and economic benefits that the Potlatch House will continue to bring its community.”

As outlined in Budget 2016, an additional $150 million will be provided over two years for CIP 150, bringing the total funding available to $300 million across the country.

The program supports projects to renovate, expand and improve spaces such as community centres, parks and arenas across Canada as part of the federal government of Canada’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

CIP 150 is delivered by CanNor in the North.

Comments (4)

Up 36 Down 22

Just Say'in on Jan 10, 2017 at 7:43 pm

What is wrong with the Multi Million Dollar facility on the River Bank?????

Up 20 Down 20

Just Say'in on Jan 10, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Ottawa spending tons of money. "Oh Where Oh Where" will it all come from. Thanks Justin but I think I know.

Up 17 Down 27

jc on Jan 10, 2017 at 5:50 pm

More money taken out of the contributing tax payers treasury to the non contributors. Our smiling PM gave a 15 million dollar donation from tax payers to an Islamic foundation, where by the way he spent his Christmas vacation at you know at whose expense.

Up 29 Down 0

Jonathan Colby on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Hopefully there's money in there to remove the current boiler and system piping, and replace it with something that is installed by a quality technician and that matches the power supply to the building. What's in there now is nothing short of a joke.

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