The Whitecap Dakota First Nation is using the First Nations Land Management Act to build homes for sale, available to anyone. Construction began in May on four 1,190 square foot homes on the First Nation’s west side. These houses are the first of 10 to be built with a starting price of $371,000. Anyone who buys a house will technically be taking over a 99-year lease of the land, which will roll into perpetuity upon the lease’s completion. This is how the First Nation has managed to sell the property without surrendering the land back to the federal government. Chief Darcy Bear said the decision to build the houses was due to a perceived need for on-reserve employee housing. This is the first phase of a larger commercial housing project agreement that Whitecap Dakota has entered into with Valley River Development Corp., operated by Joe LaPointe. In addition to building more homes on the First Nation in the future, the band has zoned between 40 and 60 acres for a business park for about 10 new businesses. Those who buy into those commercial spaces will operate on a 49-year lease. Bear and LaPointe expect the new homes will be finished in December 2014. Construction on the remaining six that comprise phase one will begin in spring of 2015.