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Due to a zoning bylaw, the Saskatoon Indian & Metis Friendship Centre Day Care Council had to apply for a special approval in order to continue operating at 168 Wall Street. City council may grant this approval at its own discretion under a local bylaw.
There were four businessmen in the vicinity opposed to the location of the centre.
Concern over supervision, traffic volume, parking facilities, obscene writing on the walls, and broken windows, were some of the reasons cited for the opposition to the centre's location.
Thelma Tootoosis, chairman of the daycare council, presented a brief to city council emphasizing the high level of supervision maintained at all times. The daycare council has also maintained strict adherence to all provincial daycare regulations.
Linda Opoonechaw, a concerned parent, said she could not understand how a child of pre-school age could manage to write obscene letters on the walls of neighbouring buildings.
There are identical traffic volumes, and parking facilities, at at least three other daycare centres in the city said Dayle Norman, a supporter of the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre Day Care Council and an employee of another daycare centre in the city.
The Native daycare centre has been in operation since June 1979. It is sponsored, controlled, staffed, and used by native people, primarily by students attending post-secondary educational institutions and living on limited and/or fixed budgets.
The Day Care Council is comprised of 51 per cent parents utilizing the centre.
As a pilot project, it received a start-up grant to ensure operation for four years. This grant was held up while the daycare council was involved with city council. They had to borrow money from the bank in order to maintain operation.
Without the discretionary go-ahead from city council, the daycare centre would have had to shut down operations and look for new facilities. Their license would have been revoked and re-application would have been necessary when new facilities were found.
Native women in Regina are also in the process of setting up meetings to discuss the development of a daycare centre.
A subsidy fee of $150 maximum is available to parents who have children in a daycare centre, and Indian people, especially students coming to Saskatoon, are urged to submit their applications for daycare as soon as possible.
"It is now possible for single parents to upgrade themselves and further their education without worrying about the additional burden of childcare finances, and be assured that their children are in a bright, happy atmosphere", said Thelma Tootoosis.