Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper and Betty Nippi-Albright, MLA for Saskatoon Centre, served up pancakes at the 2022 SIGA Pancake Breakfast in support of White Buffalo Youth Lodge

Giving Back

November 14, 2023 in News
Explorer: Fall 2023

“Building a future through investment” is accomplished by building wealth for the Athabasca communities, donations, community distributions, building a reputation and building capacity. The key to making all benefits possible is in building a wealth for the communities – without this foundation, the other benefits would not be possible. Here are a few recent examples of the ways Athabasca Basin Development and its investments give back: 

PAGC-Urban Back-to-school event 

PAGC-urban recently ran a Back-to-School event. Backpacks with school supplies were given out and kids got free haircuts. “There are a lot of families that struggle with the expenses when their kids go back to school,” says Geoff Despins, Executive Director of PAGC-Urban. “We also held a BBQ and fed all the families who attended. We had about 250 families attend the event, with about 800 kids. That’s a lot of need in our community.” Athabasca Basin Development contributed $2500 to this event. 

Graduation Activities 

ABD continued its support of graduation activities in the Athabasca communities. $15,000 was provided for graduation events for Father Megret High School in Wollaston, Father Porte Memorial Dene School in Black Lake, and Father Gamache Memorial School in Fond du Lac. Funds allocated by the schools and are used for anything from meal costs, or gowns to gifts for students. Congratulations to all Athabasca graduates! 

Connected North 

ABD continued its ongoing support of Connected North, investing $15,000 annually. Connected North is an immersive, digital education and mental health and wellness network that provides customized services and real- time experiences to schools and students in remote Iindigenous communities. Using technology, Connected North leverages real-time, high- definition two-way video to make powerful connections for students. ABD has supported Connected North since its inception in the Athabasca region in Black Lake in 2016. 

White Buffalo Youth Lodge Pancake Breakfast 

The White Buffalo Youth Lodge was established in 2000 as an inner-city urban leisure facility operated through a partnership between the City of Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) and the Saskatoon Tribal Council. The Lodge is dedicated to improving the quality of life and health for children, youth, young adults and their families in the inner city through integrated, holistic support services. 

The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) ran its fifth annual pancake breakfast in support of the White Buffalo Youth Lodge on September 14. Everyone was welcome to attend. ABD contributed $1,000 in 2022 and $1,000 in 2023. 

Black Lake held a Bike-a-thon for suicide prevention and awareness in July 

Black Lake held a Bike-A-Thon for Suicide Prevention and awareness this July. Chaperones rode with youth on a bike trek from Stony Rapids to Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. The group cycled approximately nine hours per day for 30 days, riding through wind, sun and rain to reach their destination. The event was organized by community members and has taken place for four other years (with a hiatus due to Covid). ABD contributed $4,000 towards this initiative. 

Other Donations: 

ABD supported Camsell Portage’s fishing derby this year (picture submitted by Joyce Powder)

Stony Rapids held a family conference at the school in June. ABD provided $1000 in prizes for the kids. 

Fond du Lac residents had to evacuate in July due to forest fires. ABD, QM Points, and Points Athabasca donated $3000 towards entertainment for youth. 

ABD covered hotel costs for at-risk youth from Hatchet Lake to attend the Saskatoon Exhibition along with chaperones for approximately $1000. 

Black Lake and Camsell Portage held fishing derbies, and ABD purchased prizes from Tru North, who provided a significant discount. Additionally, QM Points and Points Athabasca also donated $1,000 in prizes.