Greenhouse built by MLCN students nearing completion
- EFN Staff | November 25, 2018
A construction project by high school students in a northern Saskatchewan community are near completion on an eco-friendly greenhouse with skills acquired by a contractor who mentored their work.
Jay Noel from Your Choice Homes is the contractor and the community partner who engages leadership to gets projects started. He guided the Montreal Lake Cree Nations (MLCN) Grade 8 students on building a greenhouse at Camp Hope – which is a rehabilitation centre.
“This can be a start to their journey to an apprenticeship so the youth who are interested in going into the trades, we call it ‘journey to apprenticeship for youth’,” said Noel. “The start of the journey is in high school and the end is ending up with a journeyman.”
The project was named Greenhouse 101 which stemmed from an idea from staff at the Senator Allen Bird Memorial School in MLCN.
“We were the ones who started the project through a connection at a high school in Montreal Lake Cree Nation,” said Evan Veryard, Founder and Chairman of Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth. “They were interested in doing something land-based education for the youth…back in May 2017.”
Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth had helped to fundraise to get the project going. They had reached over $160,000 for the greenhouse project.
“We submitted quite a few grant applications and we were successful for many of them,” said Veryard. “The [MLCN] Child and Family Services agency contributed from their own budget.”
Greenhouse 101 is the last year for the skid steer training which has eight students involved.
“We believe that every blueprint is a chance for a curriculum and every jobsite is a classroom. These students from the Senator Allen Bird High School in Montreal Lake are gaining vital life skills and learning about construction and solar energy projects, which is an area that is growing in demand every day.”
The Federation of Indigenous Sovereign Nations (FSIN) applauded the hard work of the students who were involved in the project.
“Our youth have many different talents and projects like these ones not only help the youth develop their skills and gain work experience, it allows them to give back to their communities,” said FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt in a media release. “The youth are learning about more than just construction and solar energy, they’re learning how to become leaders and role models for their younger brothers and sisters. We need to continue to acknowledge and support our youth as much as we can to build them up and show them the opportunities available to them.”
With winter conditions hitting Saskatchewan, the project is temporarily on hold until further notice.