Feds announce $1.7M for N.W.T. friendship and rec centres

The money will go to kitchen, laundry, washroom upgrades and installation of energy efficient septic systems.

Money to go toward six public facilities across the territory

Ndilo Chief Ernest Betsina, left, N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod, and Dettah Chief Eddie Sangris at the announcement of funding for Dettah's wellness centre. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi)

The federal government has announced more than $1.7 million to help renovate six public facilities across the N.W.T., including friendship centres and recreation complexes.

The announcement was made on Friday and the money will come from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.

"It's important for Canadians to have places where they can play together, where they can meet and create a sense of community," said N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod at the announcement.

He said the focus of the projects is to extend the life of each building.

The wellness centre in Dettah will receive $500,000 over two years. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi)

The largest contribution is $500,000 spread over two years, for the wellness centre in Dettah.

Dettah Chief Eddie Sangris says the facility is the "focal-point" of his community.

"It's been there since [the] 1970s," he said.

"It was used for the band office, now it's used to serve our community wellness, and we also use it for mental-health upgrades, so the upgrade was really needed to improve our delivery of programs."

Construction on the centre is already underway.

The other projects are:

  • More than $370,000 to renovate Hay River's Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre
  • $300,000 for Fort Simpson's recreation centre
  • $315,000 for the Tlicho Leagia Ts'iili Ko Friendship Centre
  • $199,750 for Norman Wells's recreation complex
  • $60,000 for structural renovations on Paulatuk's community complex

Each community will cover a portion of the renovation costs. Upgrades include new kitchens, washroom and laundry appliances, and installation of more energy efficient septic systems.

These are among the final Canada 150 projects.