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Government Extends Funding for Sawêyihtotân Project

Released on June 28, 2023

The Government of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) have agreed to extend the Sawêyihtotân project, which helps people who are homeless find stable and long-term housing. Sawêyihtotân, pronounced "suh-WAY-EE-TOTE-tahn," means "to bless each other through our show of respect for each other." The province is providing STC with a $350,000 grant to extend the project for another year, until March 31, 2024.

"The continuation of the Sawêyihtotân project will help STC support successful outcomes for even more clients," Social Services Minister Gene Makowsky said. "We will continue to work with STC as part of our objective to help people participate in their communities and become self-sufficient to the best of their abilities."

Sawêyihtotân is an outreach project that provides support services to people who are homeless and have complex needs. It uses a holistic, inclusive approach that is based on Indigenous values and teachings. The project supports clients at every stage of the housing continuum, beginning when clients experience homelessness, and continuing throughout stabilization, transitional housing and long-term housing. 

Along with providing access to short- and long-term housing, STC also offers outreach services, daily health check-ins, transportation assistance and meal delivery. Sawêyihtotân has also improved access to detox services, reduced the rate of unlawful inhabitations and improved safety in downtown Saskatoon.

"Since the beginning, STC has successfully delivered programs and services that wrap around and blanket our relatives, providing opportunities for reconnection through culture and improving quality of life," STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said. "Through programs such as Sawêyihtotân, STC remains committed to being a part of the solution to break down barriers related to mental illness, addictions, income and safe housing support. Our focus is to support the well-being of all people."

Sawêyihtotân began as a pilot project in 2020 with support from community partners that include the Ministry of Social Services, Ministry of Justice, City of Saskatoon and community organizations that work collectively on community issues.

The ministry also partners with STC on the mobile workforce initiative, which places Income Assistance staff at community-based organizations and helps clients with complex needs to access services where they are.


For more information, contact:

Media Relations
Social Services
Phone: 306-787-3610

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