okimaw peyesew kamik Receives Class-A Development Permit, 80% funded
We’re proud to share that we’ve received our development permit for okimaw peyesew kamik (King Thunderbird Centre)! We’ve already raised over 80% of our funding goal - now, we’re calling on everyone for donations to raise the remainder. You can donate on the Build with Boyle website at www.boylestreet.org/buildwithboyle.
“This project has broad-based support and has been guided by Indigenous leaders & Knowledge Keepers. We know that the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in our city has doubled since the pandemic, and we are now presenting Edmontonians an opportunity to support a project that will be part of the solution,” says Boyle Street Executive Director Jordan Reiniger.
Jordan also notes that “we also have come to realize that once interested parties are presented with facts related to this project, most have their positions on the matter changed.”
So, what are the facts related to the project?
Our programs and services focus on housing, health care, and harm reduction. okimaw peyesew kamik is not a shelter service but a state-of-the-art facility, purpose-built for the needs of our work serving Edmonton’s most vulnerable. We have successfully operated within a few blocks of this new location for over half a century, and we are excited for how okimaw peyesew kamik will improve our ability to offer dignified, evidence-based services. We will continue honouring our good neighbour commitments as we work toward our vision for a strong, healthy, and respectful community.
We also want to underscore that we strongly disagree with the idea that Indigenous cultural supports are merely “recreational activities.” This blatantly disregards the material reality of how we deliver our programs and services, as the majority of the people we serve are Indigenous - the result of decades of colonialism, racism, and deliberate policy decisions.
This project has broad-based support
Chief Willie Littlechild, former Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, a residential school survivor, and former member of parliament, described the importance of okimaw peyesew kamik in a letter of support:
“When I see fellow Indigenous people suffering today, ravaged by hopelessness and addiction, I draw a straight line to how we were treated by colonial systems. When people talk about intergenerational trauma, this is what they mean. We cannot change the past. The harms that were committed on Indigenous peoples in Canada are a part of our story now. But together we can create a brighter future."
“The creation of Boyle Street Community Service’s new King Thunderbird Centre … is an act of reconciliation that helps create that brighter future.”