Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the meeting of Saskatoon's two founding leaders

    SASKATOON, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison and Whitecap
Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear are proud to host the celebration of the
125th anniversary of the meeting of Chief Whitecap and John Lake, the two
founding leaders of Saskatoon. The Chief Whitecap - John Lake - Bridging 125
celebration will be held in the evening of Friday, September 21 along the
South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon.
    John Lake came to the area from Toronto in 1882 looking for a site for a
temperance colony. He asked the advice of Chief Whitecap, from the nearby
Whitecap Dakota First Nation, as to the best place to settle. Chief Whitecap
suggested the area on the east bank near what is current-day Victoria Avenue,
as a spot where a ferry could cross the river. Now 125 years later, the
communities of Saskatoon and Whitecap Dakota First Nation are coming together
to celebrate the meeting of these two leaders and the strong relationship the
two communities have had for the past 125 years.
    "When Chief Whitecap and John Lake met, two different cultures came
together to help one another. That spirit of cooperation is the legacy they
left the communities of Saskatoon and Whitecap Dakota First Nation," said
Mayor Atchison. "On September 21, we will celebrate that harmony and the
vision these two men had to bring our two communities together. Last year we
celebrated the 100th anniversary of the forming of Saskatoon. Now, it is the
125th anniversary of the meeting of our founding fathers, and we honour them
this year."
    "Since the meeting of Chief Whitecap and John Lake, the city of Saskatoon
and the Whitecap Dakota First Nation have prospered," said Chief Bear. "The
meeting provided the foundation for the partnership and cooperation that
exists today."

    Bridging 125 Activities, Friday September 21:

    5:00 p.m.   Future Statue Dedication Ceremony (at Traffic Bridge

             -  Arrival of Chief Darcy Bear and Whitecap Dakota First Nation
                Council by horseback.
             -  Arrival of Mayor Donald Atchison and Saskatoon City Council
                by canoe.
             -  Dedication of Future Statue at the Roundabout site (the
                statue will feature Chief Whitecap and John Lake looking
                toward the river)

    6:00 p.m.   River Landing Amphitheatre

             -  Re-enactment play of the meeting of Chief Whitecap and John
                Lake. This historical event will be told through a beautiful
                blend of First Nations narration, drumming, and dancing.
                Produced by Darlene Speidel and Buffalo Boy Productions, the
                play features many traditional First Nations dances,
                including the Eagle Dance, Horsetail Dance, Buffalo Calling
                Dance, and the Lance and Shield Dance.
                Followed by:
             -  Sankofa West African Drumming Troupe
             -  Didgeridoo Performance
             -  Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble
             -  Fada Fire Dance

    8:00 p.m.   Musical Light Show on the River

             -  Laser lights on the river will perform in synchronization
                with a mesmerizing musical sound track on shore. The special
                lighting on the Traffic Bridge will also be switched on to
                commemorate the Bridge's 100th anniversary.

    All events are free and the public is invited to all of them. The Traffic
Bridge will also feature food and merchandise vendors.
    September 21 is also International Peace Day, so Bridging 125 and the Red
Cross have partnered to bring over 1,000 students to the site earlier in the
day. The students will be involved with numerous peace activities in Rotary
Park, then cross the Traffic Bridge in a Peace March to view the re-enactment
play of the historic meeting of the two leaders.
    As part of the legacy of the 125th anniversary, a curriculum piece of six
learning units is being developed for use by all elementary and secondary
students in Saskatoon and area. The curriculum will detail the history of the
Dakota people in North America and be available for schools in Saskatchewan
and Canada in the near future.
    For more information, visit www.saskatoon.ca and look under "B" for
Bridging 125.

For further information:

For further information: Media: Mayor Donald Atchison, City of
Saskatoon, (306) 975-3202; Chief Darcy Bear, Whitecap Dakota First Nation,
(306) 477-0908

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