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Bemidji Pioneer 

Red Lake Reservation to get new community centers

 

All districts on the Red Lake Reservation will get new community centers, including Little Rock, pictured above. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

All districts on the Red Lake Reservation will be getting new community centers.

The Ponemah Multi-use Community Center, the first on the list, is nearly complete. Little Rock is next on the list, followed by Redby, and then a new Red Lake Community Center will follow.

Community meetings facilitated by Red Lake Economic Development and Planning staff have taken place in both Little Rock and Redby to facilitate and explore the needs of each community. Cultural design principles have been established and a cultural committee formed to incorporate ideas into the concept design.

“These cultural influences will give the design of the Little Rock and Redby community centers their unique identity,” said Red Lake Economic Development staff member Margueritte Secola. “Functional design principles and space needs have also been established. Once the funding is recognized, the list of needs will need to be prioritized to match the budget.

“In Little Rock, a kitchen committee has been established to further design the kitchen needs,” Secola said. “The community would like to see the facility constructed on the existing site.”

That construction is scheduled for 2012.

“Redby residents would like to see their community facility constructed on the old sawmill site with views of the Big Lake,” Secola said.

Construction in Redby is scheduled for 2013.

Richard Barrett, Little Rock representative to the Red Lake Tribal Council, said the new Little Rock Community Center will be at the rear of the current building.

“The old center will remain to be used for overflow or double bookings, and other uses to be determined,” he said. “It may also be used for kids recreation, community meetings, wakes, and of course it has a kitchen. A woman willed the land to be used for Little Rock Community Center, which is why the center bears her name, Sakate Hall.”

Near and to the west of the current community center is what is referred to as the Long House.

“We used to have a school there,” said Barrett. “Now it houses two nurses who serve the community of Little Rock with minor medical problems.”

Christian Youth Workers, volunteers from the Twin Cities, have been assisting in the renovation of the existing part of the building. The workers stay at Early Childhood. Often in the evening, Red Lakers and teach the inner-city youth more about Red Lake and its culture.

 

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