Wanuskewin Heritage Park has received a boost from the federal government for the growth and renewal of the park just north of Saskatoon.
Funding of just over $2.5 million from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will allow the park to build new facilities and enhance current ones.
“Wanuskewin plays an important role in our community as an incubator and venue for Indigenous performing artists, visual artists, cultural displays and interpretive galleries,” Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, who is the chair of the park’s board of directors, said in a statement.
“These funds will allow Wanuskewin to provide dedicated spaces to artists, learners, children and visitors.”
It includes the addition of an educational facility and a contemporary Indigenous art gallery.
“Wanuskewin Heritage Park tells such an important story—that of the northern plains Indigenous peoples,” Sean Casey, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of Canadian Heritage, said in a release.
“This part of Canada’s history needs to be preserved, shared and celebrated. The expansion and renewal of the interpretive centre and other facilities at Wanuskewin Heritage Park will help ensure that this continues.”
Funding will also be used to elevate interpretive and educational programming to international levels.
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said the city is proud to be part of Wanuskewin’s renewal.
“Wanuskewin is a special place that connects people today with the relationship that Indigenous people have had with this land for millenia.”
The park is currently undergoing a $40 million renewal plan as it looks to become a world-renowned centre for education, entertainment and tourism.
Phase one of the project includes an addition to the interpretive centre for a contemporary Indigenous art gallery.
The renewal also includes plans to introduce a small herd of plains bison to the park.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park is also looking to be designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.
With files from Jacqueline Wilson