Wanuskewin Heritage Park Welcomes Members of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage to Saskatoon
For Immediate Release: October 1, 2015
Saskatchewan’s rich cultural heritage was front and centre as members of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage spent two days meeting with representatives from Wanuskewin Heritage Park on September 29th and 30th. Wanuskewin met with Danika Littlechild, Vice President and Lenore Swystun, appointed member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Commission to UNESCO, and Dr. Christina Cameron, Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage at the University of Montreal.
Wanuskewin hosted the event to draw attention to Saskatchewan’s remarkable historic and cultural landscape, as well as to share information about the renewal plans which will elevate Wanuskewin on the world stage.
“UNESCO’s founding intention is that cultures should discover and learn about each other. This aim is very much at the heart of what Wanuskewin represents,” said Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, Chair of Wanuskewin’s Board of Directors. “We are delighted to share Wanuskewin’s incredible history and renewal with our distinguished guests.”
The two day event included a tour of Wanuskewin which provided a glimpse into the exceptional value of Indigenous history in Saskatchewan. This history is informed by the longest running active archaeological research project in Canada. Archaeological evidence at Wanuskewin attests to 6,000 years of habitation by several Indigenous groups.
“Wanuskewin has extraordinary cultural value with multilayered archaeological sites that are completely intact and well preserved,” said Dr. Christina Cameron. “They prove that the site provided shelter and sustenance to Aboriginal people for thousands of years.”
Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison emphasized the importance of protecting a national historic site that is internationally acclaimed. “Learning from our heritage creates a stronger future,” says Mayor Atchison. “I am proud of the contribution Wanuskewin Heritage Park is making to our city and our culture. International recognition of this site by UNESCO and other international organizations would reinforce the value of Wanuskewin and help guarantee its future success.”
Wanuskewin’s renewal plans include enlarging the Interpretive Centre to allow for new state of the art interpretive exhibits, expanded educational programming and art gallery. Externally, the visitor experience will be enhanced through extending trails, reclaiming native prairie grasslands, and returning bison to the Park.
“The Park began as a result of unique First Nations and non-First Nations partnerships that wanted to advance the understanding and appreciation of the evolving cultures of the Northern Plains Indigenous peoples,” said Ms. Wasacase-Lafferty. “We are tremendously excited to further Wanuskewin’s journey and continue conversations with UNESCO and other international organizations.”
Wanuskewin Heritage Park
(306)931-6767 ext. 232