Sask. government spending $60,000 to boost Wanuskewin UNESCO heritage bid
The Government of Saskatchewan is spending $60,000 for Wanuskewin Heritage Park to hire a designated project coordinator to support its United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site application.
"The province's investment into preserving the past is a strong investment in our shared future to ensure that we have the resources to put toward Wanuskewin's UNESCO nomination work," Wanuskewin CEO Darlene Brander said in a news release.
"We know that we cannot do this alone. This kind of provincial support signals strong stakeholder engagement to help us tell our story. One that showcases the richness, cultural diversity and archaeological attributes that will make Wanuskewin a very strong contender to become Saskatchewan's first UNESCO World Heritage Site."
A UNESCO World Heritage designation is the highest recognition for a protected heritage area and recognizes humanity's most outstanding achievements and nature's most inspiring creations, the province said the release.
Examples of UNESCO World Heritage Sites include The Great Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal.
Brander told CTV News the hope is to have the park named a UNESCO World Heritage by 2025, but says it's a rough timeline.
"Wanuskewin as a marquee tourism destination already in our province, will be even more well-known through the world," she said.
Wanuskewin was placed on Canada’s tentative list for world heritage status in December 2018. If approved, the park would become the only site in Saskatchewan with UNESCO World Heritage status.
As part of its bid, Wanuskewin reintroduced a small bison herd in 2019.
The head of Tourism Saskatoon says the continued push for UNESCO status could lead to many positive spin-offs for the industry.
“The opportunity for Wanuskewin Heritage Park to achieve world UNESCO site designation is probably going to be one of the most pivotal moments in the tourism and hospitality industry here in Saskatchewan,” said CEO Stephanie Clovechok.
Clovechok says the designation will help draw people from around the world to the site.
“There couldn't be a more important time in our country and in our world for an Indigenous organization and Indigenous experience to take that global stage.”