Biskaabiiyang is an Objibwe word that means (among other things) Return to Ourselves. It is a home and lodge for 15-20 youth who have aged out of care. It is a safe, affordable and healthy home that will be the foundation for their quest to regain control over their lives and embrace their whole identity.
Atikokan Native Friendship Centre is leading the Biskaabiiyang initiative with support from the Town of Atikokan, CN Rail, CMHC, Ministry of Health, local Health and Mental Health professionals, and, importantly, a Youth Advisory Council.
The community engagement that preceded this project indicated that ANFC has a broad base of support, including the municipal government. The project will not only help youth determine a path to their future, Biskaabiiyang will bring much needed jobs and entrepreneurial businesses to the community and surrounding area.
Biskaabiiyang will include a culinary program. The program will produce meals for Atikokan residents who are aging in place. Similar to Meals on Wheels programs in larger urban centres. Biskaabiiyang will operate as a commercial restaurant and provide high-quality dining to all of the town’s residents and visitors. This will generate a revenue stream for other Biskaabiiyang programs.