McMurray Métis Requesting Land on MacDonald Island For Cultural Centre

The McMurray Mtis are looking to create a cultural centre on MacDonald Island.

They are asking Wood Buffalo council to approve transferring up to 7.8 acres around Fairway Drive for a nominal fee.

The land, at market value, is valued between $2.7 and $3.9 million.

The cultural centre would be in the shape of an infinity river and include an art gallery, fire circle, a conference centre, a room for youth programming, and more.

The McMurray Mtis have been looking to acquire land around the Clearwater River for the centre for multiple years in return for the past injustices at Moccasin Flats.

“It is the symbol of a vibrant community on the next step of its journey, with one eye looking to the past, and the other to the future,” read a report from the McMurray Mtis.

If approved, they would still have to apply for a building permit which would be discussed at a public hearing.

Meanwhile, council will receive an updated financial report on the Fort McKay Community Centre.

They had previously approved $6.2 million for the project, however, it’s now expected to cost over $9 million.

Council will decide to increase the budget, provide a one time grant of $6.2 million, or scrap the project altogether.

Also, they’ll discuss whether to temporarily stop capital projects in the Lower Townsite.

Councillor Jeff Peddle previously brought forward the motion to ensure flood mitigation in the area was the first priority.

However, there was a lot of confusion when council debated the issue at the last meeting over whether this is needed and would do more harm than good.

Council will discuss this and other topics when they meet virtually on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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