Skip to main content
Saskatoon Public Schools
Inspiring Learning
Nutrien Eco-Science and Indigenous Learning Centre

Following the inception of the Brightwater Science, Environmental and Indigenous Leaning Centre in 1990 it was a dream for many to have an on-site facility. Thanks to Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation and Nutrien it became a reality and in April 2013 the Nutrien Eco-Science and Indigenous Learning Centre opened its doors to Saskatoon Public Schools students.

Brightwater and the First Nation, Inuit and Métis Education Unit work together to provide middle years and high school teachers with curriculum-driven, out-of-school programming. By presenting Western perspectives of nature and Indigenous ways of knowing in supportive ways, Brightwater's inquiry based programming enables students and their teachers to make meaningful connections to the land each school year.

The establishment of the learning centre provided a positive impact on the student experience. No matter the season or weather conditions, the learning centre allows students to experience native prairie throughout the school year.

Sustainable and eco-friendly design

  • The exterior and interior designs and materials provide an opportunity to teach students about ecologically sustainable architecture that reflects Indigenous perspectives and content. 
  • The shape of the building resembles a tipi. Large windows face south to take advantage of passive solar radiation during the fall, winter and early spring. 
  • The eco-friendly tin roof allows for rainwater collection and the natural spruce siding from our northern forests blends well with the native prairie surroundings.  
  • The main doors lead into a large vaulted ceiling central classroom, with a smaller meeting room, office, kitchen, mechanical room and washrooms along the back and side walls.
  • The concrete floor throughout the building has been piped for a future radiant in-floor heating system.

  • At the centre of the main classroom area, a circular healing wheel symbol divided into the four Cardinal directions has been embossed in the concrete. 
  • The high efficiency wood-burning fire place is capable of heating the building and the heat recovery technologies will also help to reduce heating cost and use of fossil fuels.
  • The centre also utilizes water and lighting conservation technologies, and low emission paints and construction materials.
  • The paint colours reflect earth tones that are of significance to the First Nations and the wrap-round deck provides a viewing platform of the native prairie below.

  • Within the Elder Ken Goodwill Room, a tribute wall to the Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Round Prairie Métis community honours their rich history and connection to the land. An adjacent wall highlights the evolution of the SPS Brightwater programming along the Brightwater creek.