Rick Hansen, who has championed research into spinal cord injuries, praised Saskatchewan on Tuesday for spending $4.3 million on a five-year initiative in partnership with the foundation that bears his name

"If I am going to complete the original dream of a cure for spinal cord injury, we need to have every province ensuring that their best researchers are thinking and applying their energy and knowledge to discovery," Hansen said in Regina on Tuesday.

Saskatchewan's funding will go to spinal cord injury research, support for the Canadian Paraplegic Association of Saskatchewan and the Clayton Gerein Legacy Fund. Gerein was a celebrated Saskatchewan wheelchair athlete and seven-time Paralympian who died in 2010.

It has been 25 years since Hansen,  a paraplegic, wheeled his chair around the world during his Man In Motion tour, raising awareness and money for spinal cord research.

Saskatchewan is the second province in Canada, following B.C., to form a partnership with the institute.