Shared facility has lots to offer
author: ethan williams | staff writer
School and Library just some of what mâmawêyatitân centre has to offer
This fall has seen the opening of many new schools in Regina, and the excitement about the new facilities is easy to see on the faces of students, parents, and teachers as they start a new year in brand new buildings. One of these facilities that has opened includes the new Scott Collegiate development. The facility, collectively known as mâmawêyatitân centre, features the school itself, as well as many other services to suit the needs of the community.
Colleen Hawkesford, leader of mâmawêyatitân centre communications committee, says the facility officially opened last month and features a library and police service centre among other things.
“The building’s tenants are Scott Collegiate, the City of Regina, the Regina Public Library’s Albert branch, the Regina Police Service, Scott Infant and Toddler Centre, Chili for Children, North Central Community Association, and REACH [Regina Education Against Child Hunger]. REACH has a food store in there.”
According to Hawkesford, the project had been in the minds of many for quite some time.
“It was a partnership that started about 14 years ago. There were people that came together that said they needed a hub for people in North Central that allowed them to participate in community life and access needed resources. It was built to identify community needs. There’s also very much an opportunity there to build a place of cooperation and collaboration for service development, delivery, and access by and with the residents of North Central.”
Hawkesford says the word mâmawêyatitân is a Cree word meaning “Let’s be all together,” which the centre certainly seems to be living up to.
Additionally, Hawkesford says the name was chosen after consultation from faculty at the First Nations University of Canada here in Regina to ensure cultural accuracy.
She also mentions that the funding for the project was a three way initiative between the City of Regina, the Regina Board of Education, and the Regina Public Library. The building also has a number of unique features.
“There’s a commercial grade kitchen that the school uses as a cafeteria, and the kids are actually learning how to cook in there and provide lunches. The Scott Infant and Toddler Centre is outfitted really nice, and there is an Elders’ Room, so if there’s a student or someone who is in distress, they can go in there. There is also a multipurpose room where you can put on stage shows. It’s all state of the art.”
The Albert Library branch is also enjoying the space, as it is quite an upgrade from their previous location.
“They were situated in a little tiny building on Robinson Street and it was really old and dark, and wasn’t as pleasant to go into. We are getting people coming into the library [now] saying ‘I wasn’t comfortable coming in to the library before but I am now.’”
Hawkesford says the development is important for the community, as it brings them together to use the multiple services it offers.
“It’s one of a kind, and offers many services in one central place. It brings people together to connect, learn, play, and to develop skills, as well as develop culture. It’s bringing together many government and community services aimed at building and strengthening and celebrating North Central. It was built with community in mind.”
Speaking of the community, it seems members are responding very positively to the project. While Hawkesford says she can’t speak for everyone, she says that she’s heard positive things.
“They are so excited. When I’ve been in there I’ve actually heard people say ‘Can we come in here? This is so nice.’ It’s exciting to hear the reception the community members are providing in that sense.”
Future plans include a garden which will be planted at the facility in the spring. In the meantime, all residents are invited to come and enjoy this new addition to one of Regina’s