Federal government donates to Wanuskewin's Thundering Ahead campaign
- NC Raine | September 14, 2017
The federal government is the newest financial contributor to Wanuskewin Heritage Park with a $2.5 million-dollar donation made towards the park's Thundering Ahead campaign.
Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly, announced on September 13 at Wanuskewin, the $2.5 million donation on behalf of the Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund.
“Our government is proud to support a project that allows Canadians to learn about and embrace Indigenous history, culture, and art, particularly in this time of reconciliation,” said Casey during the donation announcement.
“We are proud to make significant investments in cultural infrastructure and to support organizations that provide Canadians with meaningful opportunities to enjoy our arts and heritage,” he said.
The donation will be used for the expansion of an interpretive centre, as well as an educational facility and contemporary Indigenous art gallery. “This part of Canadian history needs to be preserved, shared, and celebrated, and we want to make sure that happens,” said Casey
Wanuskewin is in the homestretch of it's $40 million Thundering Ahead renewal campaign, according to the campaign's co-chair and PotashCorp Executive Vice-President Wayne Brownlee. “The park has a working capital of about 28 million. Including the long-term land lease granted by the City of Saskatoon, Wanuskewin has raised over $40 million thus far,” said Brownlee.
This brings Wanuskewin one step closer to becoming a world-class centre for education, entertainment, and tourism.
“These kinds of things we don't take lightly in Saskatoon, and they are a catalyst to help us get these very important projects built,” said Mayor Charlie Clarke following the donation announcement.
“To see this vision for Wanuskewin and how important it is to help Wanuskewin become all that it can be, not just for Saskatoon or not just for Saskatchewan, but for Canada and for the world,” said Clarke.
Renewal and development plans also include receiving designation from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site, and introducing a herd of plains bison to park.
“As we move forward, we now have people investing in First Nation culture and First Nation spirituality,” said Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Felix Thomas. “For years, it was just First Nations saying what a great culture we have, what great spirituality we have, what a great institution in Wanuskewin we have. Now, we have everyone saying that and for that (we) thank you,” said Thomas.
Wanuskewin hopes to reach its fundraising goal by the end of the year, and begin breaking ground for their building plans in early 2018.