SHEGUIANDAH – Four families have already moved into the two four-bedroom duplexes recently completed in Sheguiandah First Nation. The units were designed to “meet the ever-increasing demand for substantial builds that would accommodate the growing families returning home.”

Sheguiandah Ogimaa Andrew Aguonie said he was excited to be a part of the project from the first shovel in the ground to ensuring a safe and healthy home environment was made available for the young families returning to live in their home community. 

“This is a great day for the community and for the families,” he said during a June 30 open house unveiling. Ogimaa Aguonie was joined by members of council and the project team in welcoming the families to their new homes.

“It’s great,” said Sunset Sagutch, whose recent move back to his home community with his partner and daughter was facilitated by the new duplexes. 

The entire planning and construction of the $1 million duplex project came in under budget and under deadline and was guided by a project team consisting of Ogimaa Aguonie, Kevin Mishibnijima, Sheguiandah First Nation operations and maintenance manager, housing director Don McGregor, Ray Moreau of UCCM Technical Services and Chris Perry of Perry & Perry Architects. Funding for this initiative was made available from Indigenous Service Canada (ISC).

Mr. Perry explained that the raised style duplexes were built so that both the upper and lower floorplans were identical, allowing for considerable savings in construction. Each half of the duplex features a small deck facing the rear of the property with an outstanding view.

The duplexes each feature two bathrooms, a departure from previous construction on the reserve, but a modern necessity when looking at providing livable space for growing families.

One of the units was originally to be held back from occupancy in order to provide an emergency housing option during the pandemic, but another band property located on Indian Mountain Road is now available to fill that function.

Chris Perry, Pearl Waindubence, Sheguiandah First Nation Ogimaa Andrew Aguonie and Cory Green pose in front of the custom plasma screen cut by OneKwe.

“Let’s hope we never need it,” said Ogimaa Agounie.

The Sheguiandah First Nation Duplex Project was constructed by D and L Contracting and Cement Finishing, a First Nation owned and operated business located in M’Chigeeng First Nation. 

Thanks in part to the lower than anticipated cost of construction, many value-added features could be included such as modern finishes and appliances, steel/wood fabricated entranceways and finished landscaping. One notable feature is the plasma cut metal screens decorating the entrance to each unit, created by Kathryn Corbiere of OneKwe.