The Early Days
Okema began in the early days of Saskatchewan’s colonial history with Rev. Henry Budd establishing a mission at Nepowewin, now Fort-a-la Corne First Nations Reserve, Saskatchewan. 320 acres of land was deeded to the Church of England at that site and a church was established. In 1931, the Federal government established the reserve of Fort-a-la-Corne (Nepowewin) and exchanged the Church land for 230 acres of lake-front property on Emma Lake, Saskatchewan.
From 1931-1976, the Diocese of Saskatchewan invited clergy to retreat at Okema and held summer programs for children and youth. In this time the beloved Sleepy Hollow was built, where Okema family now memorialize their time by signing their names.
The Okema Society
By 1976, the Diocese was considering ceasing operations at Okema when a group of hard-working Anglicans stepped up to form the Okema Society for Christian Development. The blossoming camp was then led by those who were passionate about Okema and camp ministry, reviving the camp and hosting retreats and summer camps for kids, youth, and parishes across the Diocese of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan.
Numerous volunteers have put in countless hours to build our sleeper cabins, Manna House, and the staff cabins, while other volunteers offered their time leading camps, cooking, and cabin leading. The Okema Society set out to create a place where people come together to experience community and fellowship and develop in their relationships to themselves, one another, and God.
Okema still runs on the volunteer hours of so many people who believe in the mission and vision. So many have found genuine community and have connected to God through His beautiful creation and through Christ experienced in the other.
Have you got an Okema history story to share? We'd love to hear it. Send us an email (and attach a photo is you have one) at [email protected]