New Indigenous Outdoor Learning Centre launches in northern Saskatchewan

The Prince Albert Grand Council, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation collaborate on new mitho askiy kiskēyihtamowin Indigenous Outdoor Learning Centre

June 30, 2022 – Nestled in the boreal forest, a new encampment focused on land-based education at the Hannin Creek Education and Applied Research Centre (HCEARC) near Candle Lake is now open for use. 

For the last 10 months the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) have been collaborating on the encampment near Candle Lake. The Indigenous Outdoor Learning Centre is an extension of the HCEARC. Four tipis were raised on June 15 for the new Indigenous Outdoor Learning Centre. 

Earlier this month, five Knowledge Keepers from Wahpeton Dakota First Nation shared their tipi knowledge with Sask Polytech and SWF. This included tipi history, protocols and the more practical aspect of how to raise one. The tipis are an important part of the new encampment and will be used in land-based education for a range of learners. 

“The new centre will be called mitho askiy kiskēyihtamowin, which is Cree for good learning through experiences on the land,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. “This is an exciting collaboration that will focus on land-based learning and will provide cultural awareness training and education about the ways and history of Indigenous people. We are thrilled to have the Prince Albert Grand Council and Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation as partners on this important centre located in northern Saskatchewan.” 

Land-based learning is the focus of the new encampment encouraging students and camp participants to learn from the land, live off the land and live in harmony with the land. The PAGC has been an instrumental stakeholder in developing the centre and related programming. Qualified instructors will lead the land-based training that will take place at the Indigenous Outdoor Learning Centre.  

This important initiative fits within the PAGC mission statement: the Prince Albert Grand Council Executive will provide leadership in a comprehensive way to address issues of common concern that affect PAGC First Nation communities and its members, including Treaty protection, resource development and revenue sharing (PAGC Chief’s Strategic Plan, September 2021).

"This is a continued expansion of the original vision that brought Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the SWF together; to grow and encourage education, research, cultural and historical opportunities and advancements," says SWF president, David Yorke. "This is an exciting collaboration to now have PAGC involved to offer a new dimension to Hannin Creek programming." 

June is National Indigenous History Month, a significant month for all the partner organizations as we collectively work towards reconciliation and sharing Indigenous knowledge throughout the province. The mitho askiy kiskēyihtamowin Indigenous Outdoor Learning Centre is based on the principles of miyo wâhkôhtowin (good relationships).

A collaborative partnership between Sask Polytech and the SWF, HCEARC is located on Hannin Creek in Treaty 6 Territory and homeland of the Métis, situated in the boreal forest on the shores of Candle Lake, north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. HCEARC is managed by the SWF.

To book the mitho askiy kiskēyihtamowin Indigenous Outdoor Learning Centre please visit

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Saskatchewan Polytechnic is signatory to the SDG Accord. Sustainable Development Goal alignment is one of the ways Sask Polytech is leading the rise of polytechnic education.

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