Saskatoon

Celebration of First Nations culture looks to combat racism in Saskatchewan

Delegates of the World Indigenous Business Forum were welcomed to the Wanuskewin Days powwow as they gather to discuss not only economics and business, but racism as well.

Leaders from the World Indigenous Business Forum welcomed to powwow

Delegates of the World Indigenous Business Forum were welcomed to the Wanuskewin Days powwow. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

The shooting death of an Aboriginal man on a Saskatchewan farm is a topic of conversation as people gather for PotashCorp's Wanuskewin Days Cultural Celebration and Powwow near Saskatoon.

Delegates of the World Indigenous Business Forum were welcomed to the powwow at 12 p.m., CST on Tuesday. They have gathered in the Bridge City to discuss not only economics and business, but racism as well.

"We have leaders from all over the world that can come and help with going forward and ensuring that here in Saskatchewan we have the opportunity to become the leaders to combat racism and all the injustices that are occurring," said Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice-Chief Kimberly Jonathan.

The family of Colten Boushie — the 22-year-old man who was shot and killed on a farm near Biggar on Aug. 9 — will also get a chance to meet with the business leaders on Thursday. However, Jonathan said it wasn't yet clear what the agenda would be.

Posts disturbing to Saskatoon's police chief

Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill was also at the powwow.

He said he couldn't believe some of the things people had said and written online following Boushie's death.

"I think this demonstrates here today why we come together and really the good relationships that we have in this province," Weighill said. "It's the small minority sometimes that get the attention of people and that's unfortunate."

In the days following Boushie's death, the FSIN said that the way RCMP initially described the shooting was fuelling racial tensions in the province.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon is celebrating First Nations culture for PotashCorp's Wanuskewin Days. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

"I think that shows that you have to be very careful about what you put in print," Weighill said. "Whether that be in social media or the police putting out a press release, just the wording, the semantics sometimes can really make something sound different than people intend. We're going to be awful cautious on how we're putting things out."

Wanuskewin Days continues on Wednesday with grand entries held at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. The public is welcome.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park is located just north of Saskatoon off Wanuskewin Road.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said that the powwow continues on Thursday. The event wraps up on Wednesday.
    Aug 24, 2016 7:40 AM CT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Courtney Markewich joined CBC News in 2016 after working in radio for five years. She is based in Saskatoon. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Markewich is passionate about sharing stories of the province's people. Her focus now is bringing these stories to social media on CBC Saskatchewan and CBC Saskatoon's platforms. Her work on The Pit was recognized by the RTDNA Canada National Awards for Excellence in Social Media in 2020. You can contact her at courtney.markewich@cbc.ca.

With files from CBC's Devin Heroux

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