Track 5: CANADA 150 – INDIGENOUS HERITAGE, DIVERSITY, and NEW DIRECTIONS / Volet 5: Canada 150 – Patrimoine autochtone, diversité et nouvelles orientations

Core Values in Fundraising and Heritage Preservation at Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Saturday, October 14
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Wanuskewin Heritage Park was founded on the values of collaboration, partnership and honouring all of the voices that represent our community. The Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have raised awareness across Canada of our shared history. For Wanuskewin Heritage Park, this affirms our original founding values. In the early 1980s, Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, guided by the direction of Elders, founded the organization and build the interpretive centre as it exists today. In 1987, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Park and designated it a National Historic Site. Since the beginning, these core values that we could now refer to as principles of reconciliation are integrated into all aspects of operations and decision-making.

In February 2017, Wanuskewin Heritage Park launched Thundering Ahead: A $40 Million national capital fundraising campaign. The bold vision for renewal aims to elevate Wanuskewin from a National Historic Site to Saskatchewan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Destination. With two-thirds of the funds already raised, Wanuskewin has become a model for balancing diversity, art & culture, environmental commitments, and the preservation and celebration of Indigenous cultures of the Great Plains. Wanuskewin’s fundraising drive has in itself been an act of reconciliation. The campaign is co-chaired by Felix Thomas, Tribal Chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council and Wayne Brownlee, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PotashCorp. Wanuskewin’s renewal strategy has integrated traditional narratives with cutting-edge fundraising trends. In building partnerships across all sectors, sharing stories, being innovative in government and business relations, Wanuskewin’s revitalization demonstrates the importance of reconciliation in all aspects of operations and the positive economic spin-off that heritage preservation can have.

Learning Objectives:

Tara Janzen

Development manager
Wanuskewin Heritage Park

Tara Janzen is the Development Manager at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon. Responsible for all aspects of fundraising at this National Historic Site, she has most recently managed Thundering Ahead, Wanuskewin’s $40 Million Capital Campaign. Tara has more than a decade of experience in fundraising, financial analysis and government relations in Saskatchewan and Ontario. Raised in a culturally mixed home, the issues of cultural diversity and inclusion are important to her. She is a Director with Heritage Saskatchewan and the Diversity Chair of the Saskatoon Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Tara completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2005 and is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research will address Wanuskewin’s outstanding universal value as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tara is an active contributor and participant in community arts and culture, was a founding board member of Saskatoon’s Nuit Blanche Contemporary Arts festival, is a member of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, teaches yoga and plays guitar in a feminist rock band.


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Tom Urbaniak, PhD

Tom Urbaniak, PhD, is the past chair of the National Trust for Canada’s board of governors. He has championed the Trust’s role as a high-profile, accessible, engaging organization, which links heritage to social justice, sustainability, reconciliation with Indigenous nations, and cultural diversity. He is a political scientist at Cape Breton University and also teaches in CBU's MBA program in Community Economic Development. Tom is the director of CBU’s Tompkins Institute. He is the author of four books, including Action, Accommodation, Accountability: Rules of Order for Canadian Organizations and Her Worship: Hazel McCallion and the Development of Mississauga. He recently co-edited the book Company Houses, Company Towns: Heritage and Conservation, working with authors from across the country. Tom has spearheaded demonstration projects in affordable housing using vacant historic properties, helping to set up a revolving fund and the Affordable Housing Renovation Partnership. Tom serves on the board of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia. He is active in Nova Scotia's Polish community, and chairs the parish council of St. Mary’s Polish Church in the multicultural community of Whitney Pier, where he resides. He has been working with the community to rebuild the historic church following a devastating fire. Tom has served as a Canadian election observer in Ukraine. He is a past board member for Centre communautaire Etoile de l'Acadie.


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Core Values in Fundraising and Heritage Preservation at Wanuskewin Heritage Park

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