Minister Kent and Minister Hutchinson Approve Nomination of South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers as Candidate Canadian Heritage River
Ottawa, Ontario – May 18, 2012 – The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Saskatchewan Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport, the Honourable Bill Hutchinson, today announced the official nomination of the South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers in Saskatchewan as a candidate Canadian Heritage River.
“I’m pleased to recognize the rich cultural history of the South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers by approving their nomination to the Canadian Heritage River System,” said Minister Kent. “This nomination is a testament to the hard work of community groups, Métis, First Nations, and the provincial and federal government joining together to celebrate and conserve Canada’s river heritage.”The South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers can now be considered for full designation in the Canadian Heritage River System. The nomination includes the entire 1,052 kilometre section of the South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers in Saskatchewan.
“The acceptance of the South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers as candidate Canadian Heritage Rivers is an exciting development for Saskatchewan,” said Minister Hutchinson. “Receiving this designation would ensure that the importance of these rivers is preserved, putting into place a plan for protecting their unique qualities and cultural history for future generations.”
The cultural history of the two rivers dates back over 10,000 years, when they were a major trade and travel routes for aboriginal peoples and the transportation of furs to European traders. They later became gateways for Canada’s most famous explorers as they searched for a passage to the Western Sea; including Henry Kelsey, Alexander Mackenzie, David Thompson, and John Franklin. The South Saskatchewan River was also the focal point for the Northwest Resistance of 1885, and includes national historic sites like Batoche, which remains sacred for the Métis people.
“Partners for the Saskatchewan River Basin was pleased to support the work of the nomination of the South and Saskatchewan Rivers as Heritage Rivers,” said Susan Lamb, Chief Executive Officer, Meewasin Valley Authority. “The events that occurred along these riverbanks changed the face of this nation forever. The rivers’ diverse human heritage and rich natural history make for a place that has attracted the many peoples who frequent its banks for generations.”
Under the federal leadership of Parks Canada, the Canadian Heritage Rivers System is a joint federal-provincial-territorial initiative that gives national recognition to Canadian rivers of extraordinary natural, cultural and recreational significance. It promotes, conserves and enhances Canada’s river heritage, and ensures that Canada’s leading rivers are managed in a sustainable manner.
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport, Regina