Nutrien Thunders Ahead with Wasnuskewin Donation
Published: Jul 04, 2019
High above Opimihaw Creek and the mighty South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon, Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a window into Canadian history that remains largely undiscovered. It’s a link to our past, unlike any other National Historic Site in the country.
At Nutrien, where our purpose is to grow our world from the ground up, we’re committed to growing our world's understanding of the rich history that unfolded on the ground on which Wanuskewin Heritage Park was built. It's one of the purposes behind Nutrien's recent $3 million donation to the Wanuskewin Thundering Ahead campaign.
"Biggest gift Wanuskewin has ever had," exclaims Felix Thomas, campaign co-chair and former Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief, of the impactful contribution. The campaign is now only $1 million away from its $40-million target.
Funds will be used to renovate and expand the Saskatoon facility's main building, introduce and maintain exhibits and art galleries, restore the surrounding land to its natural state and reintroduce a herd of purebred plains bison, which once roamed the area for over 6,000 years.
As part of the campaign, Wanuskewin has also applied for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site designation.
Wanuskewin has been a gathering place for the Indigenous peoples of the Northern Plains for thousands of years. For generations, people have been drawn to this valley to gather together, engage in ceremony, hunt bison, collect food and herbs and seek shelter from the harsh winter winds.
Today, people continue to gather here as a living reminder of our sacred relationship with the land. They come to share stories and teachings at sweats, pipe ceremonies and powwows. They come to celebrate First Nations and Métis heritage and to learn about our shared past. They come to experience the peace and tranquility of this ancient place.
"This isn’t just any piece of Saskatchewan prairie," says Candace Laing, Vice President of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations for Nutrien. "Wanuskewin provides a window into Canadian history unlike any other place in the country. This served as a peaceful gathering place for the Indigenous peoples of the Northern Plains for thousands of years. Now, people can continue to gather here as a living reminder of our shared past and to celebrate First Nations and Métis heritage.”