Empowering Northern Communities

February 23, 2023


Les Terrasses Francesca was built on land that had formerly belonged to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, a former convent. This connection led to a blossoming relationship between Lépine Apartments and the Franciscan Missionary Nuns of Mary. They had served isolated Northern communities, following the values of humility, compassion, sustainability, as well as social and economic justice. Although the property is under new management and is no longer owned or operated by Lepine, the history of Les Terrasses Francesca and its connection to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary remains an important part of our story.

The Inuit communities in Nunavut closely collaborate with the missionary to improve their quality of life and self-sufficiency. Francis Lépine's passion for helping people who want a better future for themselves resonated with this cause. In 2019, Francis decided to offer support to the Sister's charitable efforts, and they joined forces to help those in need. Pascale Lépine, Francis' daughter, quickly volunteered to put together a team to work in the town of Chesterfield Inlet, which has a population of 437. During Pascale's visit, they repaired a major leak in the local church lobby and finished a storeroom that would serve as the Saint Vincent de Paul food bank.

The community of Chesterfield Inlet is largely made up of children. School attendance is 10 points higher than the territorial average. We’ve worked closely with the diocese to aid in the sustainability of the community by promoting community-led economic growth and development. Through this work, Lépine Apartments has played a crucial role in empowering the community of Chesterfield Inlet to build a better future for themselves and their children.

Francis and Pascale made significant contributions to the small Inuit hamlet, including building supplies, educational resources, social support, and nutritional/healthcare expertise, as well as aid in infrastructure. Moving forward, Lépine is committed to collaborating with residents and missionaries to boost nutritional needs and provide better food security, improve basic education and training, develop after-school programs for children, and empower Inuit women.

We recognize that in order to achieve these community goals, there needs to be a safe and welcoming environment that encourages change. That’s why we’re working to create a support system for those struggling with mental-health issues, youth guidance, and support for students through their post-secondary studies. Not only this, but we will continue to help with the renovations of homes and buildings in the small community.

These efforts were made to strengthen the quality of life for locals, while creating better opportunities for future generations in the area. Our pride for Canada and its fellow citizens is what led this effort, as we recognize the potential of growth in Canada’s Northern communities, and the flourishing future they can achieve.

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