Meewasin ᒥᔮᐧᓯᐣ Miywâsin
Meewasin - It is good, it is nice, it is pretty, it is beautiful; it is valuable; #CreeDictionary
Perhaps no other word so aptly captures the essence of this special piece of the South Saskatchewan River valley. Within its boundaries lie untouched prairies, exciting culture, and inviting trails. Whether you enjoy an outdoor hike, learning about Saskatchewan heritage, stewardship work, volunteering, or simply wish to stop and smell the wildflowers the Meewasin Valley is for you!
In the midst of the arid Saskatchewan Prairies, the Meewasin Valley, is a unique and rare ecological treasure that makes this place special and an oasis of exceptional beauty. The cultural and natural history of the Meewasin Valley reaches beyond our years encapsulating places such as Wanuskewin Heritage Park and the Meewasin Northeast Swale - one of the largest pieces of unbroken prairie, riparian, forest, wetland in the Saskatoon region containing patches of rare fescue.
“We (Wanuskwin) work to advance the understanding and appreciation of the evolving cultures of the Northern Plains indigenous peoples. Wanuskewin will be the living reminder of the peoples’ sacred relationship with the land.” Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Stretching over sixty kilometres, from Pike Lake in the southwest to Clark’s crossing in the northeast, the Meewasin Valley follows the winding curve of the South Saskatchewan River as it passes through the Rural Municipality of Corman Park and the City of Saskatoon.
It was a concept to propel, sustain and enhance a valuable regional asset in an arid part of Canada at a shared low-cost. Over the last 37 years, Meewasin has become essential to the image, quality of life and development of the region and the city of Saskatoon and it has received a very high level of public support and participation.” Raymond Moriyama Author of the the Meewasin Valley Project
In 1974, the residents of Saskatoon voiced their concerns over private development along the riverbank threatening and inhibiting public access to the river valley. A group of concerned citizens started a petition lead by, Joanna Miller. The Saskatchewan Environmental Society rallied behind this threatened riverbank recommending a study be undertaken that would guide the development of this threatened riverbank. The Provincial Government, the University, and the City came together to commission the Meewasin Valley Project – 100-year Plan.
Eighteen months after Raymond Moriyama’s 1978 report was commissioned, Meewasin was created by an Act of the Saskatchewan Legislature and the first meeting was held on September 5, 1979, with Peggy McKercher as the first Chair and Wes Bolstad as the first Executive Director.
“I was invited to Regina to witness this exciting ‘awakening’ with our two young sons. It was a momentous collaboration of the Province, the City of Saskatoon and the University, a ‘partnership’ to conserve and develop 60 kilometres of the South Saskatchewan River with a vision of ‘environmental sustainability: Health, Fit and Balance’ for the stewardship of the river valley.” Raymond Moriyama
Created and nurtured over the years by wise people with great vision, Meewasin has developed into one of the most popular and appreciated organizations within the Saskatoon area and on the international stage. The Meewasin concept is studied in landscape architecture classes around the world as a model of how to conserve a river valley for now and future generations.