Westview School Facebook photo Staff from the Northern Lights Casino and members of the Prince Albert Police Service presented Westview School with a new tipi canvas last week. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


A Prince Albert school tipi damaged in an act of vandalism is looking good as new following a donation from a local business.

Northern Lights Casino stepped in to help Westview Public School after their outdoor tipi was damaged in an act of vandalism earlier this year. The casino replaced the canvas last week, with the Prince Albert Police Service acting as intermediary.

Westview vice principal Matt Bergen thanked the casino for their donation, and Prince Albert police for going the extra mile to make it happen.

“The constable in charge contacted the casino, reached out to them and once they heard that, they said immediately said, ‘we would love to replace that for them,’” Bergen explained. “They found out who we purchased it from previously, did all the leg work, called them, got a new one made, and brought it to our school.”

In a Facebook post, the school said that they truly appreciate the generosity and thoughtfulness of community partners. The Casino and police delivered the new canvas to Westview School on Nov. 30.

Northern Lights Casino general manager Angela Isbister said the Casino jumped into action when they found out.

“We’ve supported many events and groups within the community over the years,” Isbister said. “The decision to help out the students with replacing the canvas was an easy one. We thought this would be something we could definitely assist with just to show our support to the school and just to help make this community of Prince Albert a better place to live in.”

Bergen said the tipi is important for cultural teachings at the school. He said that each month they have different tipi teachings.

“You go through those teachings and what each poll represents. Having done all that work and then seeing something happened to it, the students were pretty disappointed,” Bergen said. “Having it replaced is definitely something good, and it’s not coming out of our school budget which is always pretty tight.”

Isibister said that they reached out to the company and made the arrangements, but was unable to attend the presentation.

“It’s unfortunate,” she said.  “I really, really wanted to go. It’s just something that we really wanted to support.”

Isbister added that she was thankful for the opportunity to assist the school.

“I’m just grateful that we were able to do this and able to support them,” Isbister said. “It’s awesome.”

Bergen, on behalf of Westview School, was appreciative

“Thanks to the PA police and thanks to the Northern Lights Casino for stepping up and helping us out with that.”

By: Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald