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Together . . . . At Last!

Oct 23, 2019

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The much anticipated move to a new building that would bring all of the off-campus GDI Saskatoon together is now a reality. We have all been able to watch Central Office Building take shape and to envision what the expanded space may look like and how it may serve the needs of our community. Now it’s our new home.


The largest part of the move was to get GDI Culture and Heritage Department to the new building after being housed at the 604 22nd Street West location for 15 years. This was no easy task, as it entailed carefully packing the precious and delicate art collection, museum artifacts, and special collections. In addition, we had to move seven offices and the 15 year build-up of workshop and special event supplies, art and artefact handling equipment and supplies, the GDI and Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN-S) archives, and various items from special events. Some of this reflected the much leaner times the Institute experienced over its 40 years of growth where even a binder was something to hang on to and use again. A major purge was definitely in order.


The advancement in technology enabled us to downsize paper files considerably. These first had to be reviewed to see if they were important hard copies to be archived or if they could be scanned for future reference and then shredded.


An unanticipated curve ball was that the new building wasn’t quite ready to accept our cargo in the designated places, so it went wherever it could fit. We are now in the process of unpacking these items and determining how and where they will go, given that we didn’t really have a sense of the space we would have until we actually became part of it.


This has been an out-of-the-ordinary summer for our department as we still attended to our regular work which gets busier in summer because of the numerous cultural events we attend from June to September.


The new space is wonderful and we are delighted to be working among our colleagues. While we anticipate some growing pains for all of us, the positives will outweigh these short-term blips in the process.


We greatly appreciate the help and patience of all of the GDI staff and the support we received from those more directly involved. We look forward to getting to know everyone better and to sharing our own Métis Centre of Excellence with you and others.

Photos by Peter Beszterda

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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