Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ annual powwow is back

After two years without a powwow due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools held their annual Indigenous ceremony on Friday.

Among the celebrations, the First Nations Bank of Canada announced $100,000 for the new St. Frances Cree Bilingual School announced back in 2020 by the Government of Saskatchewan.

Read more: Permanent location set for St. Frances Cree Bilingual School in Saskatoon

“It makes a young First Nations child who is new to the city, not see themselves as marginalized but see them part of the mainstream, they belong here and when they belong here they belong anywhere,” said Keith Martell, First Nations Bank of Canada CEO.

With construction set to begin in 2022, the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Board Chair is excited.

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“It’ll be part of the cultural component of the school, so there will be an elders’ lodge that this is going to be focused on, where children can come and feel at peace. The staff can be part of that as well and the elders will give them the honour of being part of their lives,” said Diane Boyko, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Board of Education chair.

She says having a bilingual Cree school is another step in the right direction.

Read more: Saskatoon bilingual Cree program welcomes many new faces

“The First Nations Bank has stepped up to the plate and recognized how important the cultural identity, the language, the spiritual identity is here at St. Francis,” said Boyko.

Click to play video: 'Emergency wellness shelter and a pow wow: Saskatoon Tribal Council' Emergency wellness shelter and a pow wow: Saskatoon Tribal Council

Emergency wellness shelter and a pow wow: Saskatoon Tribal Council

Everyone is excited to attend and participate in a powwow again.

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“Because of COVID I haven’t really been able to go to any powwows and so this is my first powwow of powwow season really,” said dancer Tianna Mccabe.

They say this is a great way to celebrate.

“This institution has done a wonderful job in getting kids engaged and keeping them in school and we really wanna support that,” said Martell.

With funds covering the construction of the school, the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Board is still looking for more donors.

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