Cowessess First Nation held a traditional sod turning ceremony for an unprecedented project on Thursday.

The project is a home for female youth in government care, which was championed by Chief Cadmus Delorme with help from Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services Inc. The home will be a safe place for youth as they transition out of child welfare.

“This home is going to allow ten children in care, females aged 14 to 17 to come live with us on Cowessess so we can raise them as a community,” Delorme said. “They can attend our school, they can take part in events and in sports, whatever this nation provides as well as get to know their family again.”

Chief Delorme said the space will be utilized to reconnect the girls with their home, and allow them to be nurtured as part of the community.

“It just gives you such a warm feeling to knowing that our children are going to be brought home,” Myrana Delorme, board member of Yorkton Tribal Councils Child and Family Services said.

The new home, which has not yet been named, will also create 15 new jobs within Cowessess.

Cowessess has over 100 children in care across the prairies. It will become the task of the newly created role of Community Connections Outreach Worker to locate the children who are in care.

The current schedule for the project estimates that basement construction will begin on May 13, followed by a naming ceremony on June 1.

Youth are expected to begin moving in on August 1.

Based on a report by CTV Yorkton's Alessandra Carneiro.