The Kahkewistahaw First Nation says they have big plans for land they own in Saskatoon.
The First Nation purchased the land in the northwest part of the city and it is now called Kahkewistahaw Landing.
In the past week, the site was host to two grand openings: a new gas station along a new FSIN head office.
In a conversation with MBC Radio News, Kahkewistahaw First Nation Chief Evan Taypotat says the band, which is located about 170 kilometres East of Regina, wanted to buy an urban development.
“The main reason we bought this land is because we wanted to find sovereignty and we knew one of the ways to do that is through economic development,” said Taypotat.
About $30 million has been invested into the development so far and Taypotat believes that money will be made back in a short amount of time. The Kahkewistahaw chief also has big hopes for what this land can become.
“What this means for Kahkewistahaw is that we are on our way and we believe Kahkewistahaw Landing can become an Indigenous hub in the next five years.”
When asked how this land can become the next “Indigenous hub” Chief Taypotat laid out big plans for Kahkewistahaw Landing.
He says they plan to construct several commercial buildings in the next several years with plans for a few already in place.
Chief Taypotat says Kahkewistahaw Landing could be the future home of a hotel and conference centre, banks, a grocery store and even possible hockey rinks.
With the dreams for what this land can become Taypotat says money is the main barrier to achieving these goals.
“Kahkewistaha has money,” he said. “but to build all these things we want to build it takes more money.”
Now the Kahkewistahaw chief says he is lobbying other First Nations in the province to build something at Kahkewistahaw Landing. He noted that Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation has leased the lot next to the gas station.
“In a perfect world we would have all 74 First Nations on that land.”
(A development image from Kahkewistahaw Economic Development Corporation about Kahkewistahaw Landing.)