FSIN celebrating construction of new business hub

Members of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) gathered to celebrate the construction of a brand new business hub, earlier this week.

The building will sit on 40 acres of land purchased by Kahkewistahaw in 2017 and will be known as Kahkewistahaw Landing. It will feature new office space for the FSIN, a gas station, a drive-thru car wash, a hotel, a convention centre, a restaurant and much more office space for rent.

The FSIN raised a teepee in front of the under-construction building during a ceremony on Monday.

Evan Taypotat, the Chief of Kahkewistahaw First Nation, said that it has taken multiple generations to get to where they are.

“A lot of our ancestors have suffered just for us to be successful. This land is not only for Kahkewistahaw First Nation, it’s for every other First Nation in Saskatchewan,” Taypotat said.

Chief of the FSIN, Bobby Cameron said the land they are on is sacred, making the building a sacred institution.

“This land we’re on is sacred treaty land and what that building is, is a sacred institution. This teepee behind us comes from the Haida Territory. [It was] built to last for hundreds and hundreds of years just like our FSIN Governess Organization,” Cameron said.

The FSIN said it plans to use the land as a business hub as an invitation to the community before heading home

“We want to make sure people are staying at our hotels, filling up at our gas stations, eating at our restaurants, and buying everything you need right here before they go back to their home communities,” said Taypotat.

Treaty Commissioner Mary Culbertson praised what the current leaders are doing for future generations – including their participation in the economy – despite barriers from colonization.

“They are building their right to participate in the economy because no one is going to do it for our nation,” Culbertson said.

“They have to manage the poverty, the despair, from what colonization caused. Instead of a treaty right for education, we got residential schools and everything that came with it and we are still suffering to this very day.”

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said now is the time to stop inter-generational trauma.

“We’re on the front lines of this work to build a better future for everyone and to come up with a way that’s not built on colonization but what’s built on partnership and mutual purpose and shared gains,” Clark said.

The FSIN and Kahkewistahaw First Nation broke ground on the project in August 2020.

With files from CTV News Saskatoon