The Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) and White Buffalo Youth Lodge are helping kids get ready to head back to school.

Friday morning in Saskatoon the two organizations put on their annual backpack giveaway. STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said a range of items are handed out as part of the event.

“This is not just about backpack supplies, you’ve got dental supplies here for tooth brushes and everything else like that, so it’s about quality of life for people,” he said.

Both the Saskatchewan Rush and Saskatoon Blades were on hand at the giveaway and they were providing the kids who came out with toques and mitts along with some other clothing.

Arcand said the two organizations have been coming together to do the backpack giveaway for around eight years. The tribal chief said the giveaway has steadily grown since it was it was established.

“We started at 500 and then a couple years at 500 went to 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, 2,500, now we’re at 3,000,” he said.

While the STC is a First Nations tribal council and White Buffalo Youth Lodge is an organization which was originally set up to help inner city Indigenous youth, Arcand said the backpack giveaway is open to anyone who may be in need. He added many new Canadians came out to get supplies which he said both organizations are happy to see.

“We’re glad and proud to say as Treaty people, we’re here to help everybody,” he said.

(STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand with some volunteers from the STC’s Wellness Centre at the backpack giveaway. Photo courtesy of STC.)