The origins of Big Block: How we got to where we are today
July 18, 2021
From 2004-08, the prairies saw huge increases in housing prices and a shortage of housing. There was an affordable housing problem in Saskatoon. The Big Block leadership successfully helped solve that shortage, but we also saw there was a need for affordable housing across Canada.We knew we had the skills and experience to make a bigger difference in the world, but we didn’t yet know how.
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CANDO and IHII provide solutions to housing insecurity, support for innovators
July 18, 2021
The Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge is a first for Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) — for their housing programs, they usually retrofit older buildings rather than build something completely new. It’s also the first time they’re building culturally-informed housing from the ground up.With so many firsts on their plate, the organization needed help. One organization they reached out to was the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO).
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Value engineering shelters construction projects from lumber price increases
June 14, 2021
The price of lumber has shot up over the past year, raising construction costs dramatically. There’s been a surge in new construction and renovations since the pandemic hit, putting lumber in high demand. Big Block clients have been relatively sheltered from this price surge, though, because of our focus on value engineering, and our fixed price contracts. 
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Now hiring: General construction laborer
May 26, 2021
Big Block is currently recruiting for a general construction labourer for our project in Regina. This flexible role will likely start out as part-time, but there is potential for it to expand to a full-time role. This job is expected to last for up to 1-3 months.
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Collaborative design process at Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge started with the Elders
May 25, 2021
The creation of the Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge was a collaborative process through and through, says Jason Surkan with David T. Fortin Architect Inc. (DTFA), and it started with the Elders who might live there.“We had community engagement sessions with elders to ensure their visions and hopes and dreams were captured in this project,” Surkan said. “Hopefully what we brought forward in terms of the architecture of the building is their vision brought into reality.”
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Designing with culture in mind: Building a home for Métis Elders
May 11, 2021
Architect David Fortin wanted to ensure there was outdoor space when designing the Round Prairie Elders' Lodge, a multi-unit residential building for Métis Elders from the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI). Fortin said the Lodge will honour the culture and the Elders living there.
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Lumber theft less of an issue with modular builds
May 10, 2021
Big Block's Nick Sackville talked to CTV Saskatoon about why our sites haven't seen lumber theft: modular construction minimizes the number of deliveries made to the worksite, which mitigates the issue.
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Saskatoon media shares the story of Round Prairie Elders' Lodge
April 28, 2021
On Friday, April 23, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) celebrated the sod turning for the Round Prairie Elders' Lodge, a 26-unit, three-story residential building for Métis Elders.Many media organizations in Saskatoon picked up the story; read the articles here.
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Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. Announces New Elders’ Lodge in Saskatoon’s Pleasant Hill Neighborhood
April 26, 2021
On April 23, 2021, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. held a sod turning ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the Round Prairie Elders' Lodge in the Pleasant Hill neighbourhood of Saskatoon. Here is the release sent out to media informing them of that exciting event!
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Answering the call from Elders in need: CUMFI building supports Métis people
April 23, 2021
Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) identified years ago that there was a need in Saskatoon for culturally appropriate housing, says President Shirley Isbister. There were gaps in the availability of affordable, safe homes and in the cultural component of housing, where it’s administered by an Indigenous organization for Indigenous people, she said. The newest development of Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge, a multi-unit residential building for Elders, was also born out of listening to the community.
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