Habitat makes historic partnership

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October 9, 2014 11:01 AM

Habitat for Humanity "On the Border" Lloydminster Society, announced a historic partnership with Flying Dust First Nation on Monday morning. The partnership between the two groups will help create a 10-unit lodge for Flying Dust Elders, and then retrofit the under utilized houses on the First Nation reserve. Pictured, from left, Flying Dust First Nation Band Coun. Marie McCallum, Lloydminster Mayor Rob Saunders and Habitat for Humanity executive director Vivian Pengelly. - Christopher W. Brown Photo

Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Flying Dust First Nation to build a new 10-unit lodge for elders within the First Nations boundaries.

Habitat for Humanity “On the Border” representatives and band council members from Flying Dust First Nation, announced on Monday Oct. 6, the partnership at Lloydminster city hall.

Vivian Pengelly, the executive director for Lloydminster Habitat for Humanity, said that this partnership between the two organizations was more about thinking outside the box than anything else.

“When Flying Dust First Nation first approached us it seemed like a perfect partnership,” she said. “It also was perfect timing to do a project like this.”

Marie McCallum, band council member of Flying Dust First Nation, said that the partnership was historic.

“It’s a tremendous partnership, it is an excellent opportunity,” she said. “It is a great feeling to have a national organization helping us in building our communities.”

Flying Dust First Nation will be managing the new 10-unit lodging facility project, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, according to McCallum.

“That management includes all aspects of the project, including the build, to the fundraising to the volunteering.

Pengelly said that the partner- ship, from Habitat for Humanity’s perspective, will be just that, a partnership.

“We will help them form committees, raise money and the construction of the 10-unit lodge. We are happy to assist Flying Dust First Nation,” she said, adding that while Habitat for Humanity will be partnering with the band, it will be fully the band’s project. “We are just going to be there to help them and answer any questions that they have.”

Pengelly added that Habitat for Humanity will help out with the mortgages for the projects as well.

McCallum put the total of the project in the $1.45-million range, with the band planning on putting some money towards the project.

“Fundraising isn’t a new thing to us, so we have put in place an excellent fundraising committee, but we also want to learn from Habitat for Humanity on some of their strategies and ways that they do fundraising,” said McCallum.

Flying Dust has made a commitment to have the lease lots made available for the sites that the 10-unit lodge will be built on.

“(Flying Dust First Nations) has also made a commitment to raising around $700,000 for this project,” McCallum said.

When the new units are created, the housing units the Flying Dust First Nation elders are currently living in will be retrofitted to enable young families on the reserve to realize their dreams of homeownership.

Flying Dust First Nation is located near Meadow Lake, Sask.

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