SIGA donates $250,000 to Thundering Ahead campaign
- EFN Staff | August 08, 2017
Wanuskewin Heritage Park came one step closer to making its Thundering Ahead development plans a reality with a $250,000 donation from Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA). The donation was presented on an already historic day, June 27th, as Wanuskewin celebrated their 25th anniversary.
“It's appropriate that we're celebrating our anniversary and acknowledging a long-standing and important partnership with the Saskatchewan India Gaming Authority today,” said Wanuskewin CEO Dana Soonias.
- Thundering Ahead campaign receives largest donation yet
- Thundering Ahead campaign receives large donation from TD Bank
- Wanuskewin campaign gets boost from Deloitte
- Thundering Ahead campaign receives $500,000 donation from CN
- Read about the launch of Thundering Ahead
“With purpose and passion, it shows you that anything is possible,” said Zane Hansen, President and CEO of SIGA. “We are very proud to be a fellow First Nation organization, and seeing what [Wanuskewin does] to preserve our heritage and our past is really something else. We are so excited about what they're doing out here.”
The donation will support the Park's renewal plans, which include gaining UNESCO World Heritage site designation, expanding current facilities, introducing exhibit galleries, and expanding the land base to accommodate a small herd of plains bison.
“We believe for our First Nation people that we deserve to have that sense of pride, and we really benefit from what Wanuskewin has done to set the stage in that area,” added Hansen. “A lot of people who started [as employees] at Wanuskewin are now at SIGA. Key people for us, so it is a really good feeling to here and give back.”
Wanuskewin and SIGA have a long history of mutual support. The discovery of gaming pieces at Wanuskewin in 1993 provided insight into the traditions of gaming among prairie Indigenous communities. Soon after this discovery, the 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan established SIGA, which has since become a multi-million-dollar business whose vision parallels past Elders and leaders of Wanuskewin.
Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Felix Thomas, who acts as co-chair on the Thundering Ahead campaign team, expressed how significant the donation is to the park as a cultural centre in Saskatchewan.
“The contribution, both financially, and in terms of moral support as being a sister organization, goes a long way,” said Chief Thomas.
“Wanuskewin will be one of the rich heritages [in Saskatchewan] as we move forward in terms of a place of inclusion,” he added.
“Our community is built on people helping each other, particularly Indigenous organizations supporting other Indigenous organizations. This gift today marks a significant milestone as SIGA and Wanuskewin continue to work together to offering something meaningful.”
Since announcing their renewal plans, Wanuskewin's $40 million Thundering Ahead Campaign has also received sizeable donations from RBC, Federated Co-op, and TD Canada Trust.