CHETWYND, B.C. — The new Saulteau Youth Centre needs a name, and management is putting a call out to the community to send in their ideas.

Since the facility is for youth, program manager Rebecca McElwain believes kids in the community should be the ones naming the space.

The centre is holding a naming contest until September 15th. The individual who submits the winning name will receive a grand prize.

The centre is open to all youth ages 12-18 and provides wrap-around services for youth, including afterschool help, job readiness, bridges to mental health services, and family support.

A public health nurse will also visit weekly to answer questions and host workshops.

With five-year Indigenous Services Canada funding in place, the Saulteau First Nations Band was able to secure a location in Chetwynd.

The building, a former church, was converted into a comfortable, airy central gathering space, featuring a full kitchen and office spaces. It is surrounded by grassy fields and a large parking lot, making it ideal for outdoor fun such as volleyball, relay races and street hockey.

The centre, which held its grand opening on August 4th, also has video games, air conditioning, phone charging stations, and free wi-fi.

Gathering space inside the new Saulteau Youth Centre. (Kirsta Lindstrom)

McElwain says, while the centre is for everyone, there will also be a strong cultural component. Local Elders will share stories about the area and teachings of beading and ribbon skirt making.

Centre management is open to any ideas on activities kids want to participate in.

“We have a suggestion box are open to new ideas and want to hear from the youth themselves, says McElwain.

“We’ve already had requests for cooking classes, game nights, and making TikTok videos.”

Submissions for a new name for the centre can be sent to mcelwain@saulteau.com and is open to all ages.

Anyone who has any questions or wants to come and check out the centre, call or text 250-401-7775.

Avatar photo

Kirsta Lindstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Tansi! Kirsta Lindstrom is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter covering Indigenous affairs at Energeticcity.ca. She is of Cree and Swedish descent, hailing from the vibrant community of Saulteau First Nations. She has two children ages 12 and 14 and currently resides in Dawson Creek. She has worn a multitude of hats and titles within the Peace Region, but her passion has always been about creating space and opportunities to pass along the traditional knowledge of our ancestors to guide...