Wanuskewin Heritage Park aiming for UNESCO designation

City of Saskatoon, Wanuskewin Heritage Park sign 99-year land deal as part of the park’s vision to become a UNESCO world heritage site. File / Global News

Wanuskewin Heritage Park will pay Saskatoon one dollar each year for the next 99 years to lease 152 hectares of land.

Wanuskewin’s vision is to become the first United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site in Saskatchewan.

READ MORE: Wanuskewin Heritage Park looking for UNESCO designation

The ability to lease the land, on a long term basis at an inexpensive price, will help with obtaining that designation.

“Wanuskewin links our past to the present,” Mayor Donald Atchison said.

“Today, we are planning for the future of the Saskatoon region, which includes aligning the City’s cultural strategy with innovative approaches like the Wanuskewin UNESCO project. We must protect this unique part of history and promote our cultural heritage.”

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Wanuskewin CEO Dana Soonias said this will help tell the story of the Northern Plains indigenous people in a respectful manner.

“Wanuskewin is excited to embark on this journey and we are grateful to the City of Saskatoon, which has committed to helping us achieve our remarkable vision,” Soonias said.

READ MORE: Kona Williams named Canada’s 1st First Nations pathologist

Part of the plan is to renovate and expand the facility to attract international exhibits and expand the art gallery.

Returning a small herd of plains bison to the area in its native Prairie habitat is also part of the project.

Wendy Winiewski contributed to this story

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