OHSWEKEN — A grassroots group of community members has undertaken work to restore the old council building in Ohsweken.
In a presentation to the elected council, Rick Monture explained that the building has been in disrepair over the years and that a steering committee has acquired community funding to begin restorative work to the structure.
Monture said restoration experts have been to the site and have remarked that the structural integrity is still very good with mild brick crumbling at the northeast corner of the building.
Next, said Monture, is the removal of asbestos and lead paint that is in the building.
Funding was provided by the Haudenosaunee Development Institute to begin restoration. Monture said that while no provincial or federal grants have been acquired, the group is discussing whether or not it will be necessary and said there have been discussions to have all expenses for the restoration covered by community funds as an act of sovereignty.
The building was erected in 1863, four years before Canada became a country. It was built on land donated by Six Nations band members and was built by people from the community. Monture said the intention of restoring the building is to restore a sense of community pride in the history of the people of Six Nations.