Star Blanket Cree Nation is investing in its future, opening the doors to its new Head Start Learning Centre on Tuesday morning.

The building is filled with toys, books and learning materials, all aimed at early learning before children go to school. It’s a place for kids to play and learn about their culture.

“They come here and learn a lot of things,” said Michael Starr, chief of Starblanket Cree Nation. “They play and they get to know one another and they learn our language – our Cree language. They build relationships.”

Construction for the new building started in 2016. It’s now up and running next door to the old daycare building that’s been around since the mid-1990’s. Starr said the community started advocating for a new building when the old one started to deteriorate.

The federal government listened to the community’s requests and contributed to help make the brand new building a reality.

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron said the centre is vital to help children get a head start on their education.

“Language and culture begin when our children are under (the age of) one and it continues up until adulthood,” he said. “It’s part of that language revitalization.”

Children aged one to five are able to take advantage of the Head Start Centre, and it provides a positive learning environment.

“I’m very proud that it’s here in our community and for the growth of our young people,” Starr said.

The area has a relatively young population and it’s expected many children will pass through the doors of the centre.

Based on a report by CTV Yorkton's Stefanie Davis