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$35M Fort Road housing project 'an opportunity' for Treaty 8 youth, Chief says

Ground was broken Wednesday on a transitional housing project on Fort Road in Edmonton, a place the leader of the Dene Tha' First Nation hopes will soon become a launchpad for big accomplishments by Treaty 8 youth.

The $35-million dollar complex will house 62 units and roughly 110 young adults after they age out of the foster care system.

The federal government contributed $29 million while the City of Edmonton committed $6 million.

It will provide not only shelter but also culture, language, education and mental health support, according to Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta.

"This will give them an opportunity to make something out of themselves, to continue with their education, trades or hopefully bigger things like law, medicine, teachers, whatever they embark upon for themselves," Dene Tha' Chief Wilfred Hooka-Nooza told CTV News Edmonton.

“The healing has to begin somewhere so that we can be a strong nation, and I'm very happy for this new way of coming together.”

The project consists of two buildings, open to people 18 to 25 years old.

The housing units will be fully furnished, accessible and include communal space including a library, computer lab, kitchen, training rooms, cultural rooms, a fitness room, arts and crafts rooms and a child-care room.

"What we see today is the beginning of a new generation, of a new history, that we can all live in harmony, that we can all live together in Turtle Island," said Loretta Bellerose with Treaty 8 Urban Child and Family Services.

Bellerose believes the project is an excellent example of reconciliation between First Nations and other governments. Because the building is pre-fab concrete, she said it may be open by next fall.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jessica Robb

A ceremony for a new affordable transitional housing project for Treaty 8 youth in north Edmonton on September 23, 2023. (John Hanson/CTV News Edmonton) Top Stories

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