The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology is celebrating the grand opening of their Pawacikewikamik Nutrien MakerLodge innovative lab.

The new lab contains several pieces of innovative technology, including a 3d printer, virtual reality headsets, a Tesla Model 3, and several other cutting edge equipment and technology.

While the lab has been in operation for the past two years, stakeholders, investors, staff, and students joined together for a celebration of the lab and the new Candian Tire Collaboration Space at the SIIT campus in Saskatoon Tuesday morning.

SIIT president Riel Bellegarde spoke at the event saying the MakerLodge lab will help Saskatchewan be a global leader in innovation and will bring Indigenous inclusion to the global technology market.

Bellegarde then pointed to the Cree word Pawacikewikamik, Which means “supporting those who dream.”.

“The meaning really means a lodge where dreams are realized and dreams really do come true when people walk through those doors,” said Bellegarde while pointing to the lab.

Bellegarde says in the labs two years of operation it has accomplishment many things.

“We have had over 300 workshop, several youth camps, and have supported 28 Indigenous business in the first two years and I think that is pretty incredible for the first two years,” he said to applause.

In addition to the MakerLodge lab, SIIT also celebrated the grand opening of their new Canadian Tire Collaboration Space.

“This build could not be possible without their investment,” said Bellegarde when speaking on the investments from Nutrient and Canadian Tire.

The MakerLodge also launched a mobile version in October 2022.