In 1995, the Oujé-Bougoumou community was chosen by the United Nations as one of fifty outstanding examples of community development, allowing it to earn one of the famous "We the Peoples: 50 Communities Award."
The Oujé-Bougoumou population is our community’s most important resource. All of our members have rich, diverse life experiences and compelling stories to tell. Our elders had a vision, one where they created a community for their children and grandchildren. Through consistent efforts, they have made this dream come true.
In Oujé-Bougoumou, we wanted to establish a sustainable community. We wished to reproduce, as closely as possible, the well-being associated with our traditional way of life within modern-day facilities and institutes.
In our traditional way of life, there are no clear distinctions between work and leisure, teaching and learning. Family relationships are important, without necessarily having specifically defined roles in the family unit. Healing rituals are a consistent part of our daily lives.
Our everyday lives were filled with learning opportunities, healing journeys and recreational activities, all relying on a strong, tight-knit social network. Therefore, our new village had to be a place of learning, of spiritual renewal and of physical and economic comforts as well as a soothing remedy that could heal past and present wounds. All of this would be rooted in our traditional Cree methods.
Throughout the planning and construction phases, members of the community have participated in the decision-making and development of guidelines, from the community’s thoughts, hopes and ambitions, to more technical questions about the actual construction work.
To ensure effective Indigenous development, we must always keep in mind that our Creator has given us a heart to nurture our hopes, a soul to solve our problems and hands to build our communities. These ideals have guided us in our unique approach for progress, leading to our innovative housing program, our alternative energy system and our current economic development plans.