The Kwanlin Dun First Nation’s Nakwat’a Ku, or potlatch house, is getting a facelift thanks to a $375,000 investment from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
The potlatch house is a central gathering place for Kwanlin Dun citizens, and is to be expanded and renovated to reflect the culture and history of the First Nation and to improve the building’s safety.
The First Nation is contributing another $50,000 and the Yukon government is investing $75,000.
“Potlatches are an important part of First Nation tradition — once denied, and now revived,” said Kwanlin Dun Chief Doris Bill in a news release. “Potlatches are gatherings that not only mark the passing of a life but also celebrate major events such as births and weddings. Here, in this building, we have also hosted potlatches to celebrate the land.”
The federal funding is part of the Canada 150 community infrastructure program. The program funds expansions and renovations of community centres, parks and arenas across Canada as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.