A new home for Montreal’s disenfranchised Métis, First Nations and Inuit was announced June 19 at the Montreal Native Friendship Centre (MNFC). A traditional drum ceremony and a prayer by a member of the community started the evening for the announcement of the new building at the Projét Autochtone du Québec’s (PAQ) general assembly.
The new location will be right across the street from the old one on De la Gauchetière in downtown Montreal. The nine-year-old initiative had its beginnings at the MNFC and has come a long way since then. “Nothing is getting in PAQ’s way from getting into this new building,” says PAQ director Adrienne Campbell, before she presented graphic mock-ups of the new building giving a virtual tour of the new facility.
The new building is set to be opened in August 2014 with construction and remodeling work taking place to ensure the facility has all the amenities necessary for beds and the planned transition rooms for helping the homeless get back on their feet.
The project will cost around $5 million with a vote being called during the assembly in order to raise the borrowing limit to $10 million in order to fund the work. “Even though this is the biggest project we’ve undertaken, we won’t lose our spirit or community identity,” Campbell said.
Campbell reminded attendees that the new building would not mean a loss to the sense of community to which they have grown accustomed.
In a gesture of support, a representative from Makivik gave praise to PAQ for the great work they put in to caring for the disenfranchised and homeless amongst the urban Native population in Montreal.