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National, provincial and city officials who had a hand in the completion of the facility were in attendance for this marvelous occasion. Situated in the heart of the city of Saskatoon a beautiful auditorium, recreation room, offices, kitchen area and rest rooms compliment this much-needed building. A place for the young and old of native ancestry to meet and entertain.
The dignitaries took turns in complimenting the groups attributing to the building.
Elders Eli Bear, John Cappo, Dan Pellitier, and Dave Knight Chief of the Muskoday Reserve were present for the pipe ceremony. Mayor Cliff Wright, of the City of Saskatoon, said he was pleased with the efforts made by the members of this development and "I extend my congratulations to the leadership in the success."
Catherine Bowell, Secretary of State from Ottawa, said she shares the pleasure of complimenting the Native people of Saskatoon on this occasion. "A place for the people to feel at home and to reach out to the community and in return for the people to come and meet and accept the people on different events and on common goals."
National Association of Friendship Centres, Miriam Youngchief, said, "This building is a dream room for children, family workers and court workers."
Ned Shillington, Dept. of Culture and Youth, congratulated all who contributed to this building which will provide a sports and recreation centre for the native people."
President of Saskatchewan Association of Friendship Centres, Maurice Blondeau, says his office had a role in the project and the
struggle the people had to work to make this building a reality.
There was a brief history made on the Saskatoon Friendship Centre by Wilf Blondeau. He said this project started four years ago and has become a reality. Introduction of the board members were made and others who had contributed to the facility. Dept. of Indian Affairs the construction project manager and so many more that was involved with the establishment.
Young girls all dressed in Indian apparel beads and leather helped in the cutting of the stripe of leather in the ceremony. The girls are Julia Kinistino, Tannia Tootoosis, Joy & Roulette, and Tessisa Kinistino.
Entertainment was provided by Murdock Johnston, Vernon Knight, Mike McNab, and Peggy Johnson.
The staff of the centre are Peter Gardipy, Executive Director; Solinus Jalifee, Assistant Director; Diane Tootoosis. Receptionist; Irene Martell, Family Worker; Irene Albert, Family Worker; Rodney Yahyahkeekoot, Program Director; Alphonse LaVallee, Court Worker; and Peggy Johnson, Day Care Centre Co-ordinator.