Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Meeting of Saskatoon’s Two Founding Leaders
SASKATOON, Sept. 17 – Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison and Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear are proud to host the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the meeting of Chief Whitecap and John Lake, the two founding leaders of Saskatoon. The Chief Whitecap – John Lake – Bridging 125 celebration will be held in the evening of Friday, September 21 along theSouth Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon.
John Lake came to the area from Toronto in 1882 looking for a site for a temperance colony. He asked the advice of Chief Whitecap, from the nearby Whitecap Dakota First Nation, as to the best place to settle. Chief Whitecap suggested the area on the east bank near what is current-day Victoria Avenue, as a spot where a ferry could cross the river. Now 125 years later, the communities of Saskatoon and Whitecap Dakota First Nation are coming together to celebrate the meeting of these two leaders and the strong relationship the two communities have had for the past 125 years. “When Chief Whitecap and John Lake met, two different cultures came together to help one another. That spirit of cooperation is the legacy they left the communities of Saskatoon and Whitecap Dakota First Nation,” said Mayor Atchison. “On September 21, we will celebrate that harmony and the vision these two men had to bring our two communities together. Last year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the forming of Saskatoon. Now, it is the 125th anniversary of the meeting of our founding fathers, and we honour them this year.”
“Since the meeting of Chief Whitecap and John Lake, the city of Saskatoon and the Whitecap Dakota First Nation have prospered,” said Chief Bear. “The meeting provided the foundation for the partnership and cooperation that exists today.”
All events are free and the public is invited to all of them. The Traffic Bridge will also feature food and merchandise vendors.
September 21 is also International Peace Day, so Bridging 125 and the Red Cross have partnered to bring over 1,000 students to the site earlier in the day. The students will be involved with numerous peace activities in Rotary Park, then cross the Traffic Bridge in a Peace March to view the re-enactment play of the historic meeting of the two leaders.
As part of the legacy of the 125th anniversary, a curriculum piece of six learning units is being developed for use by all elementary and secondary students in Saskatoon and area. The curriculum will detail the history of the Dakota people in North America and be available for schools in Saskatchewan and Canada in the near future.
For more information, visit www.saskatoon.ca and look under “B” for Bridging 125.
For further information: Media: Mayor Donald Atchison, City of Saskatoon, (306) 975-3202; Chief Darcy Bear, Whitecap Dakota First Nation, (306) 477-0908