Saddle Lake, Alberta


Saddle Lake Cree Nation No. 125




$24.3 million


August 2023

The Onchaminahos Elementary School in Saddle Lake, Alberta, exemplifies a commitment to sustainable design and an Indigenous culturally relevant and inclusive space, aiming to ‘live lightly upon the earth.’ This two-storey, 350-student facility seamlessly combines concrete and mass timber construction with innovative features.

Internally, the school features a gym, fully-equipped kitchen, interior slide, elders’ room, fireplace gathering area, and concrete bleachers forming a social stair. The social stair features a large mural crafted by local artist Wade Stamp that serves as a timeless reminder of the Saddle Lake community’s resilience pride, and commitment to fostering a welcoming and nurturing educational environment for the children.

Externally, phenolic panels and an SBS roof enhance durability and energy efficiency. Sustainable elements include mass timber, triple-pane windows, solar panels, high-end mechanical systems, and LED lighting. Large windows ensure ample natural light. The landscaping and playground offer climbing structures, slides, a sledding hill, outdoor teaching tables, a rock-encircled fire pit, and gravel walking paths.

JEN COL allocated over 44% of the project hours to Indigenous trades and local Indigenous community members, with two joining our apprenticeship program. JEN COL also invested over $900,000 into local materials and equipment from Indigenous trades and businesses in the area, demonstrating a comprehensive community engagement and partnership approach.

Delivery Method

Stipulated Price


Reimagine Architects


Remedy Engineering


Reimagine Electrical


Fast + Epp Structural Engineers


V3 Engineering