The First Nation in Lytton is isolated from mainland British Columbia by the Fraser River. It was home to an operational residential school until the late 1970s, and at one point was known for being the suicide capital of Canada. Over 40 years later, the effects of this traumatic history are still prevalent. We aim to change that narrative by building a community center, sustainable playground, and multi-sport field to give children the gift of play, and the community a space to come together.
Accessibility and financial means are the biggest challenges a First Nations community like Lytton faces in gaining access to materials necessary to build amenities that most of us may take for granted. The community is isolated and can only be accessed via crossing a river with a cable ferry. Currently, there are no spaces for children to play safely, and experience childhood, or for community to connect, celebrate and honour their First Nations traditions.
The Power of Play will build a community centre that consists of several components. A playground will be built using sustainable and/or recycled materials. There will also be a multi-sport field built for residents to play organized sports. The area of Lytton has long, hot, dry summers, therefore a shaded area and water feature will also be constructed to allow for residents to gather comfortably as a community.
It is well known that play has a vital role in children's development. Building a playground for children in this community can lead to decreased stress, help heal emotional trauma, as well as fostering imagination and creativity. By using sustainable materials, we are reducing the environmental impact of this project. The community center will be a space for Lytton First Nation residents to come together and create in their vision; keeping their culture and art alive for younger generations.