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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 onsite facility. Thanks to the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation and Nutrien it became a reality. 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 has a positive impact on the student experience. No matter the season or weather conditions, the learning centre allows students to experience native prairie landscapes 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 northern forests blends well with the native prairie landscape.  
  • 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 fireplace is capable of heating the building. The heat recovery technologies help to reduce heating costs and the use of fossil fuels.
  • The centre utilizes water and lighting conservation technologies, as well as low emission paints and construction materials.
  • The paint colours reflect earth tones that are significant to First Nations, and the wraparound deck provides a viewing platform of the native prairie landscape.

  • 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 Saskatoon Public Schools Brightwater programming along the Brightwater creek.