Federal gov't awards Kudlik Construction $8M contract to build Iqaluit daycare

The federal government is paying for the construction of the building, and it will own the building. The daycare will be managed by Tundra Buddies Day Care.

Daycare will be managed by Tundra Buddies Day Care; will accommodate 60 kids

Federal minister Carolyn Bennett was in Iqaluit on Tuesday to announce an $8 million contract to build a daycare. (David Gunn/CBC)

Iqaluit-based Kudlik Construction Ltd. has been awarded an $8 million contract to build a daycare in the Nunavut capital, the federal government announced Tuesday.

The federal government will own the building, which will be able to accommodate 60 children. The daycare will be run privately by the not-for-profit Tundra Buddies Day Care.

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett said the daycare will have a focus on Inuit culture.

"The criteria is that it reflect the local community — that means that Inuit children will be exposed to Inuit language and culture," said Bennett.

A look at the design of the new daycare. (Submitted by Susan Cuthbert/Dept. of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs)

"We believe that Inuit children have the right to be raised in their language and culture and be able to grow up as a proud Inuk."

Looty Pijamini is one of the artists whose artwork will be used in the daycare's design. (David Gunn/CBC)

Bennett said the daycare will include design work from Inuit artists Lavinia Van Heuvelen, Barry Philip, Izalasie Kopalie, and Looty Pijamini. All of the artists currently live in Iqaluit.

The Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association was involved in reaching out to the artists. 

Pijamini said he is contributing to the designs of the daycare because "I do all kinds of art and whatever chance I get to do something for the community, I would love to do that. And I have done that."

"Looking at the designs and the drawing inside, I think it's going to be a really good daycare centre."

The daycare is tentatively expected to open in the summer of 2019.

The daycare is tentatively expected to open in this location, at the corner of Niagunngusiaq and Paunna roads, in the summer of 2019. (David Gunn/CBC)

With files from Michelle Pucci