The local Algonquin community will soon have its own child and family centre in Maynooth.

Hastings County has secured Ministry of Education funding for the Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini community’s new Algonquin Inòdewiziwin Child and Family Centre. It’s part of the provincial Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous People program.

The centre in Maynooth Public School will be given nearly $387,000 this year in start-up, operating, and capital costs. Next year, it will receive over $297,000.

The centre will be open to all kids up to six years old, along with their families and caregivers. The goal is to give them access to high-quality Indigenous services that support children’s education and well-being.

Treaty Negotiations Representative Stephen Hunter says this will allow the community to fill some gaps in local history, and share Algonquin values with youth.

The centre will also teach kids about Algonquin language, history, and culture. Hunter says this is important as the community has lost a lot of its language and openness about its culture.

Hastings County Warden Rodney Cooney says it’s imperative that the Algonquin language, history, and culture be taught and preserved in North Hastings.