New Pow-wow Arbor Celebrated in Cowessess
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New Pow-wow Arbor Celebrated in Cowessess

 
August 16, 2017   |   ShareThis

The Cowessess First Nation is located on the edge of Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley, just 11 miles from the community of Broadview and about 48 miles from Mosaic’s Esterhazy potash mining operations.

Cowessess First Nation consists of approximately 830 on-reserve and 3,385 off-reserve members and is always looking for ways to increase community economic development, education and training initiatives, create employment, and provide services and programs for its members.

One of the projects the community had on their development plans was to revitalize their current pow-wow arbor. The area is used for social gatherings and the annual pow-wow—a celebration of music, song, food, dance, and storytelling.

The previous pow-wow arbor was 15 years old and in need of replacement due to damage caused by a wind storm.

After learning more about the important community project from Chief Cadmus Delorme, we knew Mosaic could commit not only part of the funds required to build a new structure, but the expertise.

At our Mosaic sites, our skilled engineers traditionally work on industrial projects and buildings. This time, Business Improvement Manager-Potash, Grant Shaver, took on a much different project.

Shaver offered the Cowessess Pow-wow Arbor Committee guidance to clarify the scope of the proposed project and enlisted the help of KGS Design and Dream Catcher Log Homes to design, tender and build the arbor.

Shaver said the project was a remarkable way to apply project management skills in a new setting.

“The project taught me about building a structure that has cultural significance and traditional considerations,” said Shaver. “I’ve also come to understand through our Cultural Awareness Training at Mosaic, that dedicating one’s time has a heightened significance in their culture. It’s about making a contribution – putting in the time and effort.”

Mosaic committed $75,000 to help build the structure and supported Shaver and others who provided the time and know-how to move the project forward.

On August 15 – after more than six months of planning and construction – Shaver joined a group of Mosaic employees to attend the first pow-wow in the new arbor.
At the event, Chief Delorme expressed his gratitude for Mosaic’s support of the important community project.

“The Cowessess Nation has delegated certain land to preserve and protect the inherent ways, values and teachings of our culture to share, instill language, songs, stories and pride,” said Chief Delorme. “The new arbor will be a place for all to come for decades, and could not have been completed without the generous contribution from Mosaic.”

Mosaic is committed to building strong relationships with the communities that surround our operations, making sustainable and impactful projects possible is our goal.

Learn more about our Indigenous outreach efforts.