5 Sask. First Nations step in to help Kawacatoose rebuild burned powwow arbour

Five Saskatchewan First Nations have come together to help the Kawacatoose First Nation rebuild a burned powwow arbour in time for the community’s annual powwow event.

Structure was partially destroyed in fire on June 4

Five First Nations have stepped in to help the Kawacatoose First Nation rebuild a powwow arbour that was partially destroyed in a fire earlier this month. (Lerenda Asapace)

Five Saskatchewan First Nations have come together to help the Kawacatoose First Nation rebuild a burned powwow arbour in time for the community's annual powwow event.

Band members vowed to rebuild the structure after it was partially destroyed by a blaze on the evening of June 4.

The Saskatchewan band, located 115 kilometres north of Regina, is working to get the structure rebuilt before its annual powwow celebration in July.

Five First Nations have volunteered to help the community reach its goal: Waterhen Lake First Nation, Poundmaker Cree Nation, Flying Dust First Nation, Beardy's and Okemasis' Cree Nation and Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. 

Waterhen Lake band councillor Dustin Ross Fiddler said he knew his First Nation had to help when he saw the photos of the burning arbour.

"When we heard about what happened in Kawacatoose we felt that here as well, just because, you know, we've had to deal with our own setbacks with our powwow arbour," said Fiddler.

"It was deeply saddening, you never want to see that, especially [because] a powwow arbour holds such great significance to our people, you know."

Fiddler said the treasurer of the Kawacatoose First Nation powwow committee had been deeply touched when he heard the news.

"You could tell that there was a sincere gratitude in his voice," said Fiddler.

Individuals have also stepped in to help rebuild the structure.

Comedian Dakota Ray Hebert will also donate a portion of the proceeds from the Cards Against Colonialism show at Capitol Music Club in Saskatoon on June 26.

"I think First Nations, we all experience the same peaks and valleys together," said Fiddler.

"So if it's a powwow arbour or, you know, another tragic event happening in the community we need to step up together and support each other."

With files from CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition