Eagles Landing Business Park development includes world class rink
- EFN Staff | September 24, 2018
What looks like a nice pasture near Saskatoon’s Airport to some, is actually a piece of land that the Chief and Council of Kahkewistahaw First Nation (KFN) envision as a place to create economic development and wealth for their young people and elders for years to come.
The piece of land covers almost 40 football fields in Saskatoon's Hampton neighbourhood and the community of Kahkewistahaw chose a cool day in September to release their plans to the public. Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but a hotel and conference centre connected to a multiplex hosting a championship calibre hockey rink with two other rinks available and a field house are high on the wish list for Chief Evan Taypotat and his Council.
The First Nation wanted to establish a community economic vision that will yield long term benefit for KFN members on their path to a healthy community and economic prosperity. "Economic development is the pathway to a better life for the people of Kahkewistahaw. We will build Eagles Landing into a powerful economic horse which will not only benefit the people of our First Nation, but to the people of Saskatoon and the surrounding area" said Chief Taypotat.
It is the intent of Kahkewistahaw First Nation, the City of Saskatoon and nearby property owners to establish a collective vision for the Hampton Village area in which the KFN lands are located. The First Nation has had talks with the developer that owns the lands nearby and have also met extensively with City of Saskatoon staff. The economic development arm of the First Nation is building relations and courting investors. “We hope to have development in three to five yeas,” said Chief Taypotat.
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark was on hand for the ceremonial ground breaking as he welcomed the Kahkewistahaw investment in Saskatoon. “We lead Canada in the development of urban reserves,” said Mayor Clark as he asked for patience and pointed out the area did not have services like water and sewer yet. “The City is on the front lines of developing partnerships with First Nations and we have a positive track record. This site and future development create opportunity for Kahkewistahaw and the whole community. The more you have a common vision, then everyone benefits.”
Sharing the event’s agenda was Kahkewistahaw Chief Evan Taypotat, Charlie Clark Mayor of City of Saskatoon, Vice Chief Heather Bear of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nation and Rob Harvey, Regional Director General, Department of Indian Affairs, Saskatchewan Region representing the Government of Canada.
Prior to the initial purchased the KFN leadership devoted a significant amount of time and effort to consult with its membership in round of meetings in Saskatoon, Regina and in the community of KFN. KFN leadership received overwhelming support from members to move ahead with the purchase the property. Since the purchase, KFN Leadership has been working with its Trust and Land’s department on a reserve creation process. It is expected that Eagles Landing Business Park will obtain reserve designation by the spring of 2019.
“Economic development is the process by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people. Eagle’s Landing is the start of that process for Kahkewistahaw First Nation. A process which will provide us with the ability to form partnerships, generate wealth and create employment opportunities for our members and Saskatoon citizens,” said Councillor William C. Kaysaywaysemat. “We are thankful for the previous Kahkewistahaw leadership that have initiated this process with the vision of a prosperous future and better quality of life for our members for generations to come. We honour them through our commitment to develop this property and realize their vision.”
Chief Taypotat envisions starting the development with a gas bar but has high hopes to fill the entire area with retail and leisure options. But it won’t come cheap. “We have done the studies and seen what Saskatoon needs and what they want. There’s a lot of potential jobs here. This is bigger than the $14 million it took to buy the land. Its another $10 million in infrastructure. You have to have a strong bankroll,” said Chief Taypotat. “We are fortunate to have good finances and we know we can build what we want to build. In a perfect world we would do it alone but we don’t have $100 million dollars. Eventually there will be investors and people that want to own businesses on this land. We made this announcement because we want Mayor Charlie Clark to keep working on our behalf and to light a fire under out butts to work on it.”