'Building a brighter future': Kahkewistahaw opens the doors to first-of-its-kind governance facility

It was a historic day on the Kahkewistahaw First Nation, as it opened the doors to its new, $20 million governance facility.

The facility, which is just on top of the hill in Kahkewistahaw, will house all of the community’s integral governance happenings, such as housing, recreation, education, social assistance and Chief and Council.

It was coined the Chief Joseph Crowe Governance Centre, a nod to late Chief Crowe. Crowe’s daughter, Sharon Green, spoke of her father during the opening ceremonies.

“He lived the spirit and intent of our treaties. He lived our inherent right to self government, and our inherent right to be,” she said.

The facility, which uses green energy through its solar panels, will have a positive impact on the community, which continues to grow its economy inside and outside of its reserve borders.

That was promised by Chief Evan Taypotat, who drew inspiration for the building from his time involved with the Canadian Infantry.

“Previous years, we were under about seven rooves. And it didn’t make for a cohesive work force. Right now we’re working towards being a well oiled machine,” the former Infantry Officer explained.

Work to build the first-of-its-kind facility began less than two years ago. It was built in the shape of an eagle, with its solar energy surplus going back to the community in the sunny summer days.

Council member Cory Alexson said the building will work towards Chief Taypotat’s vision of also creating a safe and fun work environment for the community.

“It’s just going to bring life to the work that we do, at a personal level and professional level … building a brighter future,” said Alexson.

Chiefs and council from all neighbouring communities made the drive up to participate in the celebration. Gifts, and gifts of thanks and well wishes rang through the courtyard during Wednesdays events, with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) also in attendance.

“This governance center is something that is just restored hope in our nations, and our communities. Especially bringing together all the surrounding nations to be here and support. This is the type of governance that we need to make sure that we're pushing forward for our future generations,” said FSIN Third Vice Chief, Aly Bear.