Wanuskewin Heritage Park has received another financial boost for their UNESCO Ready Campaign.

The fundraising campaign was announced this past fall with the intent to provide the heritage park with several upgrades to help them become Saskatchewan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site by 2025.

On Thursday, the ATL Group announced a $70,000 donation to Wanuskewin to build a storage facility for archaeological materials.

At an event celebrating the donation, Wansukewin CEO Darlene Brander spoke on her gratitude for the development of the new facility and the importance of protecting the archaeological finds as they uphold the oral tradition of the elders.

“Wanuskewin is the culmination of many stories, and of those stories, the archaeological findings at the park perhaps most easily allow us to reach through time and connect to those who gathered here thousands of years ago,” said Brander.

Many of ATL Group’s founders and employees are former archaeological students at the University of Saskatchewan, who studied under one of Wanuskewin’s founders Dr. Ernie Walker.

For Brad Scheile, Principal at ATL Group, it was easy to give to Wanuskwin because it held a personal connection for many staff.

“We have participated in field school out here, have witnessed and studied the almost 6000 years of human occupation of this valley, and have been taught and mentored by one of its founders, Dr. Ernie Walker,” said Schiele. “Supporting and contributing to the UNESCO Ready Campaign is much more then just a corporate donation for us, it’s an offering of gratitude to this land and to the people who managed it”.

For many years, Wanuskewin has been embarking on a bid to become Saskatchewan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. This endeavour has led to many upgrades at the park including the return of a herd of bison.

This past September, the heritage park launched their latest fundraising effort entitled the UNESCO Ready Campaign as they reach the final leg to hopefully receive a UNESCO designation by 2025.

According to a Wanuskewin spokesperson, this latest donation has brought them nearly halfway to their $12 million goal.

(PHOTO: Wanuskewin’s Director of Development speaks on the $70,000 donation from ATL Group at an event at the heritage park on Thursday.  Photo by Joel Willick.)