Long Plain First Nation has turned ground on its state of the art Truck and Travel Centre.
The new centre hopes to provide a Convenience Store, truckers lounge, fuel and diesel services, and truck and trailer parking.
Plenty of dignitaries were in attendance including Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, Portage Mayor Irvine Ferris, R.M of Portage Deputy Reeve Garth Asham, and MLA Eileen Clarke.
Chief Dennis Meeches says two things need to happen before they can go full steam ahead.
“The province would need to upgrade the Yellowquill Trail and the Trans-Canada Highway. We’re looking for a controlled intersection as well as slow-down and take-off lanes. The second thing is we purchased this property in 1998, where the travel centre will be located. That (land) needs to be converted to reserve status before we put that type of investment on there. The province is aware and the federal government is aware. We’ve been working on this for years.”
The project is broken down into five phases.
Phase 1 – Infrastructure Works, Phase 2 – Travel Centre, Phase 3 – Cardlock Truck Fueling, Phase 4 – Secure Tractor Trailer Parking, Phase 5 – Future Development.
Meeches says it’s about time we see all of this growth take place.
“We’ve been working so hard over the years towards strengthening the indigenous economy, and we need to continue down that road. There’s no question in my mind that indigenous people need more opportunities for jobs and training.”
There is no completion date set, but the Arrowhead Development Corporation Website says construction on the building is slated for 2021.
Meeches says they have a name picked out for the new road that will lead up to the centre.
“The name will be Ginew Street. Ginew in our language means eagle. It’s fitting for us because when people turn on to the street coming into Keeshkeemaquah off of the Yellowquill Trail, they’ll have a clear view of the eagle statue and the memorial for residential school survivors and victims.”