On Thursday, the Battlefords Agency of Tribal Chiefs Community Development Corporation (BATC CDC) announced a $125,000 donation to next February's Saskatchewan Winter Games, the largest contribution to date.
"I would like to congratulate the mayor on the bid of the Winter Games," Saulteaux First Nation Chief Kenny Moccasin said at the announcement. "I'd like to also thank the Winter Games committee...I know we hosted the First Nation Winter Games a few years back and it was a big job, big task."
Winter Games co-chair Rob Rongve also announced at the cheque presentation that the BATC CDC will receive the naming rights for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the biathlon and cross-country skiing events.
The opening ceremonies will take place in North Battleford on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., while the closing ceremonies will take place on Feb. 24 at 4 p.m.
"Your generosity and support of the community is noted and very much appreciated," Rongve said. "The $125,000 is going to ensure that we have the best games ever here in the Battlefords...It made our day when you guys came through with this level of support."
Included in the cross-country portion will be para-nordic skiing, which is the first time in the Saskatchewan Winter Games history that a para-sport will be included.
"We are very proud that we are the first to host a para-event in the games and very much look forward to seeing the competition at Blue Mountain in February," Winter Games co-chair David Schell said in a press release.
Neil Sasakamoose, chair of the BATC CDC, said in a press release that the organization often provides grants, as long as the host is within their funding area. They have previously provided grants to Onion Lake Cree Nation, Thunderchild First Nation, and the BATC for previous Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations' winter and summer games, in 2011, 2012 and 2016.
"This year, with North Battleford hosting the Saskatchewan Winter Games, it is with great pride that we are able to commit to funding this event," Sasakamoose said in the press release.
Moccasin added the community can also be proud to put on such a huge event, as athletes, coaches and volunteers from all over the province will be present.
"At the end of the day, North Battleford should have some pride that we're hosting the games," he said. "It's going to be a huge, huge event."
On Twitter: @NathanKanter11
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