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11 Houses Officially Opened At Beardy's

Louise Cuthand

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JULY 1978      v08 n07 p05  
About 40 people attended the official opening of 11 new houses valued at $36,000 each on the Beardys Reserve on June 30th.

Several dignitaries attended including Premier Allan Blakeney; Prince-Albert M.P. John Diefenbaker; P.A. Duck Lake MLA Garnet Wipf, representatives of Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Chief Dave Ahenakew and Sol Sanderson, First-Vice President of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, and Beardys Band Council.

Chief Andy Michael welcomed the dignitaries and other guests to the official opening on behalf of Beardys Reserve. In his presentation he said that the housing program is "not adequate, but I hope when our efforts to get better housing continue, those of you who are here today who make the decisions will help us".

Premier Blakeney extended his congratulations to Chief Michael, the band members and all those who worked together to make this housing project a success. "You can look to governments to solve your problems for you but we will never solve your problems for you. People solve their own problems. We can help and we are prepared to help and I know that you have that message and you are going to organize to bring about the changes that you want to see on this reserve the same way you have organized and brought about this project."

He said it is projects like this which show that the Indian people have decided that they are going to get together, solve their own problems using their own organization, their own labour and their own skills and call upon the government to help them. "I know that this is not the end of the progress that we will see on Beardys I know you have other projects in mind and I hope we can help with them", Premier Blakeney said.

The official opening was held at the new home of Philomene Gamble. Mrs. Gamble said she is very pleased with the new housing. She said she previously had lived in "a small shack" and was not used to such a large modern home.

It was the first time in Saskatchewan that an Indian band has organized itself as a non-profit group to provide new housing for families on a reserve. The band was fed up with partially finished houses from the $10,000 grant from the Department of Indian Affairs and decided to take matters into their own hands.

The band council went to C.M.H.C. and negotiated a 25-year mortgage for 11 units. Financial assistance for the development of this first housing phase was provided through loans and grants by the federal government. Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation provided a loan and contribution totalling $226,080 which includes a non-repayable federal contribution of $22,608.

The band council then formed a housing society, which will own the houses and act as the landlord.

The 11 bi-level units feature three bedrooms, livingroom, kitchen and eating area in the upper floor and 3-4 partially finished rooms in the basement area. The bedrooms and the livingroom are carpeted. The

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Chief Andy Michael welcomes dignitaries and other guests
Chief Andy Michael welcomes dignitaries and other guests to the official opening of the houses.
Philomene Gamble with the help of Premier Blakeney and Senator Sid Buckwold cut the ribbon to officially open the houses.
Philomene Gamble with the help of Premier Blakeney and Senator Sid Buckwold cut the ribbon to officially open the houses.


11 Houses Officially Opened At Beardy's

Louise Cuthand

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JULY 1978      v08 n07 p06  
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units also have modern water and sewage system.

The basements in these bi-levels are wooden basements. Wooden basements have proved to be long lasting. They are highly treated 2 x 6 studs instead of the regular 2 x 4 studs. They are also easy to finish and are well insulated, therefore the basements are warmer.

The rent varies from individual families based on their income. The rent is then paid to the housing society, who will in turn make an annual payment to CMHC.

Fifteen men from the Reserve have been working on the housing since June, 1977. Some of the workers were laid off this spring due to lack of funds. However the construction of the houses didn't suffer. Men under Canada Works programs took over where the carpentry crew left off.

Jake Mike, one of the councillors said, the Beardys band is now planning for the provision of an additional 12 family units made available through Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Community Housing Program. He said they are looking at three different styles of houses whereas the units recently opened are all bi-levels.

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Premier Allan Blakeney
PREMIER ALLAN BLAKENEY

F.S.I. CHIEF DAVE AHENAKEW
F.S.I. First Vice-President Sol Sanderson
F.S.I. FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT SOL SANDERSON

John Diefenbaker and George Peeace
John Diefenbaker was one of the guests.
George Peeace, MC for the afternoon looks on.


11 Houses Officially Opened At Beardy's

Louise Cuthand

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JULY 1978      v08 n07 p07  
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Senator Sid Buckwold presents Chief Michael with a Canadian flag.
Senator Sid Buckwold presents Chief Michael with a Canadian flag.
Senator Sid Buckwold and the Right Honourable John Diefenbaker<BR>take the time to pose with these two ladies from Beardy's Reserve - Mrs. Virginie Esperance and Mrs. Veronique Gamble.
Senator Sid Buckwold and the Right Honourable John Diefenbaker take the time to pose with these two ladies from Beardy's Reserve - Mrs. Virginie Esperance and Mrs. Veronique Gamble.

Philomene Gamble's new house
PHILOMENE GAMBLE'S NEW HOUSE