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Dàyę yésóots’ enindhän, dàkhwäts’enè’in yū Ihdzí’ – Officially launching April 2024

by ahnationtalk on March 20, 202427 Views

March 18, 2024

Mayo, Yukon – With immense pride, Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation and Yukon University – Mayo Campus, are pleased to announce the official opening of Ihdzí’ (pronounced ID-T’SEH) on April 4, 2024. Ihdzí’ is a multi-use space that seeks to address a number of community service gaps in a welcoming and sustainable way. Ihdzí’ aims to be the “heart” of Mayo as a place where people may eat, learn, gather, and where all are welcome.

The path to opening Ihdzí’’s doors has been one informed by community and collaboration. After extensive community engagement in the summer of 2023, the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation (NNDDC) began embarking on interior renovations to address upgrading, efficiencies, and to support a shared commercial kitchen space. In addition to supporting prepared food for purchase, Ihdzí’ is a space that offers a diverse programming calendar, and many community events.

As the former community restaurant space, 202 First Avenue in Mayo has always been an important place of gathering in the community. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the territory-wide housing crisis, increasing food prices, and the ongoing rates of inflation, NNDDC made the difficult observation that a traditional full-service restaurant was not a sustainable business model at this time. However, challenges became opportunities, as alongside YukonU Mayo Campus, NNDDC began strategizing a multi-use space, and collaborative commercial kitchen model which allows multiple individuals and food-based businesses to use the space at a significantly reduced overhead cost than renting a traditional commercial kitchen space. The intention is that not only will this allow Mayo-based food entrepreneurs to sustainably scale-up their businesses, but that Mayo residents may have the opportunity for a more diverse range of prepared food available for purchase. Since February 2024, YukonU Mayo Campus has been running the “Kitchen Helpers Program” and offering varying cuisine for takeout on Friday nights. The program has been a community hit including favorites like Mexican and Vietnamese dishes.

Another key pillar of Ihdzí’ is offering programming that seeks to address Mayo’s interests and needs. The success of the 2022 Ihdzí’ Ihle Ts’ e Sewing Program has provided the energy and a pathway to guide future program offerings led by YukonU. Focused at uplifting Traditional Knowledge, and entrepreneurial and general skills and knowledge, programming will be community-informed and adaptive to the evolving needs of Mayo. At its heart, Ihdzí’s program calendar will always be rooted in fostering ideas of wellness and belonging.

Lastly, it is through tremendous community leadership that we may have the opportunity to open our doors. From talented program developers, to the contractors that helped build the new commercial kitchen, and of course our many incredible Mayo event planners, Ihdzí’ may aim to be the heart of Mayo – but it only may come alive thanks to all of you.

Ihdzí’ will be opening its doors on April 4, 2024, at 2pm with an opening ceremony, prayer, and sacred fire. For the rest of the day and weekend, Ihdzí’ will be hosting an artist market, tours of the space, arts and crafts, and free coffee and snacks. Please visit Ihdzí’’s Facebook Event for a full schedule.

For more information, please contact Syd at ihdzi@nnddc.ca or Sarah at communications@nnddc.ca

NT4

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