Ranch Ehrlo Society is breaking bread and building bonds in the community.

Participants of Ranch Ehrlo recently joined the City of Regina and members of the public to enjoy a community feast in celebration of the Mitakuyé Owâs’ā Centre, in the heart of Regina’s Heritage Neighbourhood.

“This was a great opportunity for Ranch Ehrlo to be included in the community, to ignite a relationship between the City of Regina and the Mitakuyé Owâs’ā Centre, and to let our participants know they are welcome to this new community centre,” said Jamie Lerat, Indigenous advisor at Ranch Ehrlo.

The Mitakuyé Owâs’ā Centre, which translates to “all my relations” in the Dakota language, was formerly known as the Municipal Justice Building in Regina. The property underwent significant renovation and was recently unveiled as the community’s new gathering place.

The first feast to honour the building’s rejuvenation and renaming was held on May 27th.

The feast was led by Dakota Elder, Wayne Goodwill of Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation.

While Ranch Ehrlo has been involved in community feasts throughout Regina before, this marked the first occasion that the agency’s staff and participants were involved in both a provider and participant capacity.

Ranch Ehrlo’s Sweet Grass Café, operated by young adults with intellectual and developmental differing abilities, worked under the direction of Chef Trevor LaValley to prepare and contribute the feast’s soups, Bannock, and rice pudding.   

Elders and kohkums at the event included some of those who have worked with and helped guide cultural programming at Ranch Ehrlo. Jamie Lerat was also in attendance, accompanied by some of Ranch Ehrlo’s senior leadership. Three youth participants were also invited as special guests, assuming the honour of serving at the feast.

“It was great for our Ranch youth and young adults to participate in such a cultural event because an opportunity like this provides a sense of belonging, and also contributes to their understanding of culture, their heritage, their purpose, and who they are.”

“It’s all about creating those community partnerships and relationships,” Jamie concluded. “It’s so important because we’re giving back to the communities whom we serve and we’re creating stronger community connections.”