NORTH BATTLEFORD, SK, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Following Monday's City
Council session, the City of North Battleford agreed to enter into an
economic partnership with local First Nations for the development of a
world-class tourist attraction. The proposed Battlefords First Nations
Cultural Pavilion and Heritage Park will be the first of its kind in
the world, showcasing the rich history, culture and traditions of the
Cree, Lakota and Saulteaux First Nations.
Rather than capital investment, the economic partnership with the City
of North Battleford involves a contribution of land. The property,
which is currently undeveloped, comprises two parcels north of the
Yellowhead Inter-Provincial Highway (#16). The land is bordered on the
east by the Western Development Museum, on the west by the Gold Eagle
Hotel and Casino, and to the north by the newly constructed Battlefords
and District Sports, Recreation and Entertainment Multiplex facilities.
"The support and involvement of the City of North Battleford is a major
milestone in the development of the Heritage Park project. With the
land use approved, we can turn our focus toward building a world-class
tourist attraction," says Pat Woods, Project Advisor for the Battle
River Nations Trade and Tourism Association Inc - a non-profit
corporation established to oversee the development, ownership and
operation of the Park.
As per the agreement reached Monday, the land allocated by the City is
to be used strictly for the development of a Heritage Park. The
property will also be governed by a standard municipal services
agreement, and all development will meet or exceed government
environmental and water drainage standards.
In addition to First Nations communities and the City of North
Battleford, anticipated stakeholders may include the Town of
Battleford, and Community Organizations and Associations within the
tourism market area.
"This project is important on many levels," says Chief Duane Antoine of
the Poundmaker Cree Nation. "There are substantial economic benefits
for the Battlefords in the form of employment and tourism. But the
project also represents a positive new relationship between First
Nations and the non-Aboriginal community. It is great point of pride
and companionship, bringing together people from many communities and
First Nations across the region. We are excited to be moving forward."
About Battlefords First Nations Cultural Pavilion and Heritage Park
The Battlefords First Nations Cultural Pavilion and Heritage Park is
designed to capitalize on a growing interest in Aboriginal tourism
worldwide. Currently the fastest growing segment of the tourism sector
in Canada, Aboriginal tourism contributed an estimated $800 million to
the Canadian economy in 2010.
Features of the core attraction area of the Heritage Park will include a
5,000 sq ft enclosed tipi (the largest in the world), a 4,000 sq ft
First Nations Cultural Pavilion and a wide variety of other
entertainment and recreation areas.
A future secondary attraction area will be located south of the
Yellowhead Highway, extending all the way down to the historic Town of
Battleford and Fort Battleford. Some of the features include activities
and tours along the North Saskatchewan River, a number of
interpretative trails, and "tipi-style" all-season cabin
The two attraction areas will be tied together with a pedestrian
overpass bridge, designed with a unique bow and arrow aesthetic. This
bridge is expected to become a defining landmark of the region.
The new Heritage Park will complement a range of existing cultural
"We are excited to have the opportunity to add to the heritage of the
area. With the natural history of the ravine and river valley to the
south, Western Development Museum to the east and the Agricultural
Society (which just celebrated their hundredth anniversary in this
location) to the north, visitors will have the opportunity to
experience an unprecedented amount of history in one place," says Chief
SOURCE: Battlefords First Nations Cultural Pavilion and Heritage Park
For further information:
J. Patrick Woods
Project Advisor - Battle River Nations Trade and Tourism Association Inc
Executive Director - Northwest Professional Services