Assumption, Alberta


Dene Tha’ First Nation


4,680 m2


$9.9 million


July 2002

Located in the small northern community of Chateh, Alberta (also known as Assumption, AB), the Chateh K-12 Community School was constructed to serve as both a learning and community cultural gathering place.

Understanding the importance of this new hub to the Dene Tha’ First Nation, JEN COL consulted regularly with the local community to ensure every culturally significant detail was constructed with precision. JEN COL also made a commitment to the community by hiring and training as many local workers as possible. The school’s concept evolved from a study of culturally significant aspects of the Dene Tha’ First Nation. Traditional “hut” type/radial habitation patterns and studies of cultural symbolism were combined to suggest a balanced development of existence, cultural definition and spirituality.

In addition to the academic spaces, the school features a new cultural centre, health centre, cafeteria, gymnasium, student gathering area and library which are accessible for public use. This creative and intricate building boasts 20-metre high columns, unique Kalwall day-lighting panels, curved sloping roofs with skylights and imported wood roof decking. JEN COL was successful in delivering this project ahead of schedule and on budget. This project emphasizes JEN COL’s commitment to ensuring First Nations history, traditions and culture are respected and honored for projects we undertake on First Nations land. It demonstrates our focus on strong and lasting relationships within First Nations communities and our ability to seek opportunities within projects to highlight and acknowledge First Nations culture and traditions.

Project Awards:

  • 2006 Best New School Facility, Council of Educational Facility Planners International, Alberta and International Chapters
  • 2002 Alberta’s Top Projects, Alberta Construction Magazine
Delivery Method

Stipulated Price


Workun Garrick Architects


Hemisphere Engineering


Jo Engineering


Protostatix Engineering