Beyond aesthetics: How the Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge incorporates Métis traditions
February 2, 2022
When architect David Fortin began envisioning the design for the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge, he knew it had to go beyond simple aesthetics. When he was looking at the traditional homes the Métis were building in Batoche and elsewhere in Saskatchewan, he also looked at how they inhabited those homes, he said. 
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Reviving the Round Prairie history through community and culture
January 13, 2022
For the Métis people, the New Year’s Day celebration is a special one. Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. President Shirley Isbister says in days gone by, her family would go house to house, visiting family and eating boulettes — meatball soup. All day, they’d visit with relatives, eating boulettes along the way, and then in the evenings they’d gather again for a meal and the adults would jig and dance all night. While some of these traditions have fallen by the wayside, Shirley says she still makes boulettes every year for her family, and her goal with the newly opened Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge is to revive some of these traditions.
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Layers of funding: How non-profit org CUMFI provides rentals 30% below market rates
December 13, 2021
The rent at the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge is 30 per cent below market for some of the suites — a feat that was only possible thanks to support from an astounding six funding sources. Because so much funding was secured, the rent is very affordable, and the energy-efficient design will also help Elders save money on utility costs. “It was a tough goal but we knew with the different funding partners that it was possible,” said Shaun Dyck, CUMFI director of housing.
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Celebrating community at Round Prairie Elders' Lodge grand opening
December 6, 2021
On Friday, Dec. 3, we gathered with friends, family, colleagues and clients at the Round Prairie Elders' Lodge to celebrate its grand opening. The mood was jubilant as the community gathered in the space for the first time, including several Elders who had already moved into the Lodge.
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Big Block wins Pursuit of Excellence Award, finalist for Team Building Award
December 2, 2021
The Big Block Construction team was thrilled to be a finalist for two awards at the NSBA 24th Annual Business Builder Awards: The Pursuit of Excellence Award and the Team Building Award. The company won the Pursuit of Excellence Award, which is awarded to the NSBA business that is an industry leader among its peers and/or within the business community.
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Willowview Heights becomes first multi-unit residential building in Canada with Net Zero Ready label
October 14, 2021
The National Affordable Housing Corporation’s (NAHC) Willowview Heights includes one multi-unit residential building in Saskatoon that will achieve the first Net Zero Ready label for a multi-family residential building in Canada. It’s part of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Net Zero Home Labelling program, with a goal to understand the best way to make multi-family residential buildings (MURBs) Net Zero, modular, affordable and marketable.
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Now hiring: Project manager
September 24, 2021
We're hiring! We need a project manager to help our Operations team work with consultants, municipalities, and site superintendents to ensure proper procedures are completed from start to finish. Big Block is a growing and quickly evolving business so we are looking for someone who is flexible and can grow with us.
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Elder says development will be ‘a dream come true’ for residents
September 23, 2021
Kathleen Pruden hopes there will be jigging at the Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge when it opens. CUMFI’s Round Prairie Elders’ Lodge is a multi-unit residential building for Métis Elders, and it features gathering space for just such activities as jigging. Other features include accessible suites, a fireplace in the common area, and a garden. All of these features were suggested by the Elders themselves through consultations.
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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 housing project was a first for Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) — for past housing programs, they renovated older buildings rather than building something completely new. It was also the first time they built culturally-informed housing from the ground up.With so many firsts on their plate, CUMFI needed help. One organization they reached out to was the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando).
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