Former residential school now a community building in northern British Columbia

New multi-purpose community building opens in Lower Post, B.C., on the site of former residential school


The new Dene Kǫ multi-purpose building in Lower Post in Northern B.C. Photo: CIRNAC

The site of a former residential school in far northern British Columbia is now home to a new community building.

On June 21, the Daylu Dena Council (DDC) in Lower Post held an opening ceremony for the Dene Kǫ^ multi-purpose building as part of a weekend long event celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The former Lower Post residential school operated in the small community of 300 near the Yukon border between 1951 to 1975.

The building remained in the community and functioned as a band office, post office and employment centre. Many survivors and their families said the building served as a stark reminder of the community’s past and was a source of pain and trauma.

The former building was ceremonially demolished in 2021.

The new building’s name means “people’s house” in Kaska and will function as a space for community events, gatherings, cultural activities and essential services.

“The opening of this new multi-purpose building is a monumental achievement for our community of Lower Post and the Kaska people,” said Deputy Chief Harlan Schilling in a press release.

“This building stands not only as a physical structure but as a pillar of hope and healing, reflecting the reclaiming of our cultural heritage and fostering a vibrant future.”

The federal government and other funding partners, including the province of B.C. and DDC, contributed $29 million towards construction of the building.

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