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Aroland First Nation to build its first Elders lodge (ᑭᒋᐦᐊᐧᐃᑲᒥᒃ)

Press Release

From: Infrastructure Canada

News release

Aroland First Nation, Ontario, March 19, 2024 – The new Aroland First Nation Elders Lodge (ᑭᒋᐦᐊᐧᐃᑲᒥᒃ), will provide Elders in the community with a comfortable place to call home and live independently while receiving needed care. The federal government is supporting this lodge with an investment of over $20.5 million from the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program.

Announced by Minister Patty Hajdu and Chief Sonny Gagnon, the Aroland First Nation Elders Lodge will support the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of Elders in the community.

The Elders Lodge will be a net-zero carbon building and will be built to withstand the cold climate of Northern Ontario. When complete, it will offer 20 private suites suitable for both singles and couples. The communal area will have a craft room for cultural and social activities while the kitchen and dining room will provide a welcoming space to prepare and share meals. The fitness room will provide a safe, indoor fitness space for individual or group activities.

The lodge will give Elders independence while comfortably staying in their community, close to their loved ones. They can continue to participate in cherished traditions, contribute to intergenerational knowledge sharing, and continue their important role in preserving the Ojibway language.


“Congratulations to Aroland First Nation on this exciting project! An Elder’s Lodge, built to be both green and inclusive, will ensure that Elders can age surrounded by family and friends, and maintain the connections that are so important for the entire community. With this federal investment, Elders can continue their vital role of transferring their knowledge, language and traditions, to younger generations, while receiving the essential care they need.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“Today is a wonderful day. An Elders lodge will be built in Aroland and the project is fully funded from the ground up. This building provides a way for Elders to continue living in Aroland instead of having to leave our community for assisted living. The Elders lodge will also provide a place for some of our elders who were forced to leave as a result of housing, assistance or medical needs to return. It was during a planning session for comprehensive community planning that the idea for an Elders lodge was brought up by community members. We are truly blessed to be awarded funding from the federal Green and Inclusive Community Building program to fulfill that request. Thank you to past Aroland Administrations for their work on this project.”

Sonny Gagnon, Chief, Aroland First Nation

Quick facts

  • The federal government is investing $20,585,123 in this project through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program.
  • The GICB program was created in support of Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. It is supporting the Plan’s first pillar by helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and helping develop higher resilience to climate change.
  • At least 10 percent of funding is allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.
  • The application period for the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program is now closed.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Micaal Ahmed
Communications Manager
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
Web: Infrastructure Canada

J. Richard Herbert
Band Administrator
Aroland First Nation



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