A new facility that will serve as a combination of a youth centre and a moms and tots resource centre is under construction in Gjoa Haven.

“We don’t have (an existing) youth centre. We’ve never had one. I’m excited about it,” Mayor Joanni Sallerina said, adding that the moms and tots centre will replace an existing facility that the community has outgrown.

The frame for the new building, located near the community hall, is in place. Construction will hopefully be complete by March or April, according to the mayor.

The Hamlet of Gjoa Haven also recently acquired a three-bedroom house from a construction company that is being converted into a “safe house” for those in crisis.

“It’s small, but it’s a start,” said Sallerina.

A new insulated cabin for youth and elders, another project through the hamlet, was towed on a trailer to Swan Lake, about five kilometres outside the community, a couple of weeks ago. The cabin will be used for cultural activities when the youth committee is revived, the mayor said.

“It could be hunting, fishing, it could be storytelling, it could be healing – whatever they want to use it for, it’s out there for them to use,” Sallerina said. “It’s a traditional campsite from years ago that has a fish-drying rack made of rocks in that location.”

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