On Thursday, the Saskatoon Tribal Council and PotashCorp helped hundreds of kids in Saskatoon get ready to go back to school next week.

The tribal council and the mining company handed out 500 backpacks filled with school supplies to inner city children at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge.

Tribal Chief Felix Thomas says next year they will have to increase the amount of backpacks especially for elementary students once word gets out about the giveaway.

“For me, I’m glad a lot of the people from the different ethnic groups do come out,” Thomas said. “This is a youth facility that’s not strictly for First Nations and Metis people – it’s for the community.”

PotashCorp’s Leanne Bellegarde says if the tribal council sees today’s event as a priority the company will support this again next year.

“Every year we sit down with the Saskatoon Tribal Council and they prioritize the initiatives they would like to fund and support,” she explained. “We agree on those mutually beneficial programs and this is one of them.”

The backpack giveaway was held in conjunction with the tribal council’s annual carnival, where SaskEnergy sponsored the barbecue.