The McKay Métis are the new proud owners of a 10-acre piece of land northwest of their hamlet.
They announced on Tuesday they are leasing the land from the province for two years and are purchasing a fishing lodge, five cabins, an airstrip, and other assets for $525,000.
It’s located off of Island Lake inside the Birch Mountains Wildland Provincial Park.
President of the McKay Métis Ron Quintal tells Mix News this area will become a ‘refuge’ for their people.
“While the community is a place to provide home and income through working in the oilsands, ultimately our members are very limited in access to mother nature.”
This land will give McKay Métis members a place where they can practice their cultural traditions and simply enjoy the outdoors.
Over the next two years, they plan on upgrading the area which includes improving the septic, sewer, and water systems as well as boosting the fuel storage.
“Then, we’re going to renegotiate with the province for a much longer fixed term so we can ensure that our members have long-term access to the area,” added Quintal.
The Indigenous group has been on a mission in 2018 to acquire their land. Back in March, they bought their land from the provincial government for $1.6 million.
Quintal says this is something they’ve lacked for many years.
“We felt that it was in the best interest for the community, not just for our youth and elders but everyone in between – it’s realistically going to allow our community to break some trail for the Métis Nation at large.”