Docstoc

Twelfth year for Awards of Excellence

Document Sample
Twelfth year for Awards of Excellence Powered By Docstoc
					JUNE 2010                                                                                                                            VOLUME 13 - NUMBER 6




                                                                                                                                                                      FREE




SaskTel honours Aboriginal youth
Don Morgan, Justice Minister of Saskatchewan,
presented the Female Outstanding Achievement
Award to Debrah MacDonald of the Muskeg Lake
Cree Nation.            (Photo by John Lagimodiere)




                   NURSING GRADS
                   ReneeLeratisoneof14graduates
                   oftheLicensedPracticalNursing
                   programofferedontheCowesses
                   FirstNation.          - Page 9

                   WAPOS BAY FAREWELL
                   Creator Dennis Jackson said a
                   final farewell to the characters
                   of Wapos Bay after a brilliant
                   five-year run.          - Page 15

                   IT’S A FIRST!




                                                        T
                   Richard Anenakew is the first
                   Aboriginal president of the
                   Saskatchewan Chamber of
                                                        Twelfth year for Awards of Excellence
                   Commerce.          - Page 20                         By Andréa Ledding                           Community School who spent a very traditional
                                                                      For Eagle Feather News                        childhood in the northern community of Coal Bay.
                                                                CU Place in Saskatoon was filled with proud              “It’s cool that there are so many others.”
                    ONION LAKE PROGRESS                         families and outstanding young people, attending         Bouvier also received a $20,000 entrance scholar-
                    Chief Wallace Fox announced                 the 12th Annual SaskTel Aboriginal Youth            ship from the University of Saskatchewan, where he
                    more than $29 million will be       Awards of Excellence. More than 84 youth, including         plans to pursue an engineering degree. His many accom-
                    invested in housing and other       three group nominations, were nominated in nine cate-       plishments include a 95 per cent average and a peer
                    initiatives.         - Page 21      gories.                                                     tutoring program to help others succeed.
                                                            While all the youth were recognized as winners, 11           Female Outstanding Achievement recipient Debrah
                   HIP HOP STYLEZ                       walked away with $1,000 each in scholarship money           MacDonald, a Grade 12 student at Saskatoon’s Marion
                   He’s in love with music and the      from 10 major sponsors, and beautiful star blankets.        Graham Collegiate, is from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.
                   ambitious young artist is                Male Oustanding Achievement recipient Josh                    “I do what I love – soccer is my passion,” said
                   devoting his life to it.             Bouvier was humbled by the honour, and the public           MacDonald.
                                            - Page 26   recognition and applause for success, hard work and indi-        A natural athlete, she played soccer for the first time
                                                        vidual accomplishments.                                     at age nine, a coach at the soccer camp told her to try out
                  Welcome to our
                                                            “What stood out was all the other candidates – and      for provincials – and she made it. She now coaches and
          National Aboriginal Day Edition
                                                        how all of them have their own unique ways of standing      plays at an elite level, and will be studying Kinesiology
                 Coming In July:
                                                        out and of what they’re going to be doing,” noted           at the U of S while training for the Huskies soccer team.
               Back to Batoche Issue
                                                        Bouvier, a proud Métis graduate from Turtleford                                                • Continued on Page 2
               CPMA #40027204
2                                                                  Eagle Feather News - Focus on Youth                         JUNE 2010


                                                                                                       Violet LaFaver is the
                                                                                                       winner of this year’s
Standing ovation for                                                                                   Spirit Award.



winner of Spirit Award
• Continued from Page One                           First Nation recieved the Leadership Award
     Bouvier and MacDonald’s award,                 sponsored by Harvard Broadcasting.
sponsored by SaskTel, was presented by                   Hannah St. Denis-Katz of Beardy’s and
provincial justice minister Don Morgan.             Okemasis received the Education Award,
     Harris Cameron Jr. of Beardy’s and             sponsored by SIGA. Keely Banin, a Métis
Okemasis, and Taylor Pelletier of Fort Qu’Ap-       student at Miller High School in Regina,
pelle, were the two winners of the Sports and       received the Technology/Science Award
Recreation Award, sponsored by SaskSport, in        sponsored by Missinippi Broadcasting Corpo-
the largest category (32 nominations plus a girls   ration.
volleyball club). Fine/Performing Arts was the           Gabrielle Fourstar of Marion Graham
next largest category with about half as many       Collegiate and the Wahpeton Dakota First
nominees. Several of them entertained the           Nation received the Community Service award
hundreds in attendance at the banquet,              sponsored by SaskEnergy.
including Wade Daschner from Ahtahkakoop                 But the longest applause – and a standing
on electric guitar, the St. Mary Dancers from       ovation - came for Violet LaFaver, recipient of
Prince Albert who “got jiggy” to much applause      the Spirit Award. A 19-year-old graduating from
– and highly entertaining and talented Tristan      St. Mary’s High School in Prince Albert, she
Durocher from La Ronge, the winner of the           has been in foster care from birth, and overcome
category, who fiddled (and bantered) for the        many obstacles including the recent death from
audience like a pro.                                cancer of the foster-mother she called her
     Durocher’s award was sponsored by SIGA.        mother.
     Collin Starblanket from Starblanket First           The Spirit award perhaps best represents
Nation was winner of the Culture Award,             the Wicihitowin Foundation’s goals, to honour
sponsored by the Office of the Treaty Commis-       the First Nations veterans by nurturing others
sioner and presented by Treaty Commissioner         for the future – based on the Cree word, and
Bill McKnight. Randall Fiddler of Waterhen          tradition, for “helping each other”
JUNE 2010                                                       Eagle Feather News - Focus on Youth                                                                       3




A
Youth a priority for friendship centres in Sask.
        By Andréa Ledding                                                                                                              and learn some woodworking.”
      For Eagle Feather News                                                                                                                The awards then become a double
         boriginal Friendship Centres                                                                                                  gift, not only acknowledging the
         operate across the province to                                                                                                success of the youth receiving the
         provide services and a space for                                                                                              award, but giving the youth who
community members and youth to                                                                                                         created it a sense of pride and accom-
gather in urban settings.                                                                                                              plishment and participation in the
     The newest centre in the province                                                                                                 community.
is in Regina, where the doors of Newo                                                                                                       Youth are a priority with SIMFC,
Yotina Friendship Centre have just been                                                                                                like all the Friendship Centres in the
opened in the city’s north central neigh-                                                                                              province, and they have a youth board
borhood, on Angus Street. Newo Yotina                                                                                                  which operates very independently,
is Cree for “four directions”.                                                                                                         providing feedback and running
     Chris Passley, program co-                                                                                                        programs. This not only ensures partic-
ordinator at Saskatoon’s Indian and                                                                                                    ipation and interest, and programming
Metis Friendship Centre (SIMFC), took                                                                                                  which is youth-generated, but it also
a few minutes to chat while preparing                                                                                                  gives the young people valuable expe-
for their annual Native Grad Recogni-                                                                                                  rience and skills.
tion night, to be held June 10. This is the                                                                                                 They are provided an honorarium
26th year the Grad night has taken place                                                                                               for their time, and take the commitment
for Saskatoon and area youth, and like                                                                                                 very seriously.
last year they will have about 50 grads                                                                                                     The responsibility they are given
who attend, plus family and friends.                                                                                                   passes along the message to the youth
     “We honour our grads of First                                                                                                     how valued and trusted and respected
Nations and Métis ancestry and                                                                                                         they are, and many of these youth have
highlight all their accomplishments,”       These students attended the First Nation and Métis grad at the Friendship Centre in gone on to become leaders in the
Passley said, adding that it gives them a Saskatoon last year.                                                        (Photo supplied) community.
chance to be an example, but also to be                     backup assistance of SIMFC’s restitution program –                              Friendship Centres initially
proud of their heritage and who they are.                   where youth in trouble with the law work to give back    assisted Aboriginal people in their movement into urban
     Scholarships and awards are also provided by nine to the community.                                             areas. They provide a range of services focusing on
different community organizations, and all youth are            “These kids work hauling trash, cleaning graffiti in Aboriginal people but also working with the larger
presented with a feather. Another unique aspect is the the community – but also create awards to give to grads community.
4                                                                                   Eagle Feather News                         JUNE 2010


                                                                                     Rank Comix                            Adam Martin




        Passion saved FNUC
      On the brink of closure, the First Nations University of Canada has finally
receivedacashcommitmentfromthefederalgovernmentthatensurestheinsti-
tution can run for at least another year.
      INAC Minister Chuck Strahl announced in earlyJune that$4 million will
flow to FNUC through the U of R. The money does come with strings “They
have many milestones to reach” as Minister Strahl put it, but with the rotten
administrationrunoutandwitharejuvenatedboardandmanagementteam,the
future certainly is brighter than it has been in the last five years.
      When you talk to insiders, even though the future of the institution was in
doubtthelastfewmonths,thefeelandvibeoftheschoolhadcertainlyreturned
beforethemoneycameback.Nomoreoverspending.Nomoresecretmeetings.
No more political and idiotic firings.
      Thespiritcamebackthroughthestudentsandthestaffthatstuckwiththem,
even at the threat of firing or other games that people could play.
      The whole FNUC fiasco and revival shows what can happen when you
engage the community and do the right thing. Kudos have to go out to FSIN
Chief Guy Lonechild and those 44 other Chiefs that voted with him to disband
theboard.Heputhispoliticalneckonthelineforthisandemergedlookingvery
muchlikealeader.MinisterRobNorrismustalsobecommended.Eventhough
relations between the First Nations and the province are strained right now
(sellingdisputedlands,droppingthetobaccoexemptiondowntoonecarton..etc)
Minister Norris showed a steady hand in calling for accountability, and also
showed greatsupportwhenchangesweremade.WecansafelysaythatChuck
Stahl is probably a little tired of Minister Rob Norris right now.
      Good job all around to the Board, the management, the political leaders
and the students whose passion for their school made it all happen.



    Partnerships are good
     It was nice to see a hundred or so people show up for the presentation of
the Strengthening the Circle Aboriginal Health strategy. Kinistin Saulteaux

                                                                                    Comments, letters, suggestions .....


                                                                                    eaglefeathernews.com
Nation, CUMFI and the Saskatoon Health Region invested a couple years
researchingAboriginal health care delivery in Saskatchewan and beyond and
they created a health strategy for the region to use.
     In this day and age of many different groups fighting over dollars or juris-
diction,itisrefreshingtoseeaFirstNation,aMétisLocalandthehealthdistrict
getting together to find the best way to deliver services to all people.Aborigi-
nal people have historically been alienated from the health care system. Not a
lot of doctors and nurses that are indigenous, nor was there a concerted effort
fromthehealthregionstobeaggressiveandhireandretainAboriginalemployees
in other sectors of the field. We know for a fact that hiring and retaining First
NationandMétisemployeesarearecommendation.Goodforthepartnerswho
pulled this together. It showed cooperation, compassion and persistence. Let’s
hopethehealthdistrictcanimprovetheirdeliveryofhealthservicestotheAborig-
inal people of this region.

 SaskTel Youth Awards make you feel good
     FromtheopeningjokesofDonSpeideltotheclosingoftheshowwiththe
drum,theSaskTelAboriginalYouthAwardsofExcellencealwaysleaveaperson
with a smile, and hope. Led by committee Chair Colleen Cameron, the team
receives hundreds of nominations from around Saskatchewan. They have to
sort through them and they make the tough decision on which of these very
deservingyouthistoreceiveoneoftheelevenawards.Afterseeingthenominees
and hearing their biographies, the choice must be very difficult to make.
     There were youth walking across that stage that had 95 or 98 averages! In
school! There were national caliber athletes, youth that had overcome trauma
intheirlifethatwoulddebilitatearegularperson,butsomehow,somewaythey
foundawaytosurviveandeventhrive.Therewereentertainers.Ayoungfiddle
playerhadthemoves,thefootstompandtheheartofJohnnyArcand.Thisyoung
lad had the crowd eating out of his hand. Guitars blazed, a saxophone wailed.
In the end 11 youth wound up getting awards, a nice blanket/banner, a trophy
and a bursary for school, but really, all of the youth there were winners. The
event was sold out as there had to be 600 or 700 people there. If only we could
getmorepeopletowitnessthisevent,theywouldcertainlybealotmoreexcited
about the future of the First Nation and Métis youth of this province. I know I
certainly am.
JUNE 2010                                                                          Eagle Feather News                                                                                   5


  Don’t want to hear Canadian guns on solemn day
      It used to amaze me how Native             business is the near destruction out of          celebrate with Middleton’s descendents,       Sherman’s family to Atlanta to commem-
 leadership was so easily taken in by            First Nations University. A more recent          the loss of our lands, the death of our       orate the burning of the city during the
 government agendas, dollars, and even           example is Back to Batoche Days and              people, the hanging of our leader, and the    American Civil War. Southerners would
 the language that is part and parcel of the     this year’s theme of “reconciliation and         exile of our warriors?                        never do something like that and no one
 party, the times, and issues of the day.        healing,” which is what my rant is about              Reconciliation, a term appropriated      would expect them to.
      From Trudeau’s “participatory              this month.                                      by our government from South Africa to             And about reconciliation, well,
 democracy” to today’s use of “reconcil-              This year is the                                                make us think that        usually other parties have to think that
 iation and healing,” one would think, the       125th anniversary of                                                 they are creating         something needs to be dealt with, and,
 way our leadership tosses them around,          the      Battle        of                                            change, means to go       realistically, non-Native Canadians just
 that we had come up with those terms.           Batoche, a very                                                      back to the way it was    don’t really care about Batoche, even if
 One almost wants to scream: “For                important year for                                                   – at least that is my     they know what it is about. It’s just not
 heaven’s sake, can’t you come up with           Metis people in our                                                  understanding of the      on their radar.
 something original?!”                           country, and so Back                                                 word (that is the              The only people who would want
      Every single Native leader, regard-        to Batoche Days is                                                   dictionary definition     this supposed reconciliation to happen
 less of the creativity and dreams that they     something we all especially looked               but it means more than that in usage …        are those white folks who want to appro-
 have come to leadership with, have been         forward to. Imagine the surprise when            it does mean two sides coming together        priate Dumont or Riel or the Metis into
 caught in that government web. Of               many of us opened the Saskatoon                  to resolve a past difference or dispute;      their “cause” … “Look, you’re oppressed
 course they sometimes make noises that          StarPhoenix last week and read Robert            and they do it with good intent. This isn’t   just like me.”
 almost convince us that they are                Doucette’s interview regarding this              reconciliation in that usage because               It seems to me that a reminder is
 different, but in the end it is just the same   important event, in which he is quoted           we’re the only ones at the table…the          needed for those leaders who endorse this
 old malarkey over and over again. If we         by the reporter as saying that “the festival     Province and Canada aren’t reconciling        kind of celebration and reconciliation.
 are to be truly politically independent,        wants representatives from all sides of          with us and wouldn’t feel there was           You were elected to get land, not spend
 then we must be independent of govern-          the battle including descendants from the        anything to reconcile about other than to     our few pitiful dollars making friends
 ment money.                                     Winnipeg Rifles, Midland battalion, the          say, “so we’re good now, right?” Recon-       with Middleton’s men.
      By that I mean political organiza-         North West Mounted Police, Boulton’s             ciliation takes discussion, agreement,             I for one do not want to share this
 tions such as the Métis National Council,       Scouts and Metis soldiers that fought in         accommodation … we’re not doing that).        special year with the descendants of the
 the AFN, and their provincial affiliates        the battle … The North West resistance                Well, that is pretty darn scary. Go      men who killed my great-grandfathers
 should be financed by their membership,         is a significant event for all Canadians         back to what? Are we going to pretend         and forced their descendants onto the
 not by governments. That way they               and celebrating its significance annually        that all was wonderful before 1885? That      road allowances.
 would be politically independent and,           is not meant to divide Canadians but is a        the Manitoba resistance of 1870 didn’t             That does not mean I am full of hate,
 just as important, they would have to be        national celebration to bring them closer        happen? That our relationship with the        bitterness, or anger. It only means that I
 accountable to their people.                    to gather.”                                      Canadian government was peaceful and          would like to honour and remember them
      They should also mind their own                 Well, excuse me, but I thought our          honorable? Somebody has rocks in their        at the gravesite on a quiet afternoon, with
 business and leave the running of               annual pilgrimage to Batoche each July           head!                                         the sound of that beautiful wild wind, the
 programs and institutions to the people         is to honor and commemorate our fallen                When governments in the past             growling of the distant thunders, and the
 who know what they are doing. After all,        warriors, both Métis and Treaty. If we are       several years have commemorated those         smell of sage and sweetgrass in the air.
 that is why we send our children to             to celebrate at all, it should be to celebrate   who fell during World War I and World              I do not want to hear bugles,
 university, isn’t it?                           our survival as invisible people living at       War II, they did not invite former            marching feet, or the firing of Canadian
      An example of what can happen              the margins of our country. And this year        enemies. Inviting the descendants of          guns on a day I when I remember and
 when leaders don’t mind their own               – of all years – why would we want to            Middleton’s men is like inviting General      honor my dead.




Next month in Eagle Feather News .....
    Next month is all about Back to Batoche and the                 Speaking of columnists, we are actually down a
Year of the Métis.                                              couple. Mike Gosselin and Blue Pelletier have moved
    There is so much going on in July it is mind                on. This leaves us in need of some capable writers that
blowing but we will try to give you the lowdown and             are willing to take on the arts and entertainment beat
the uptown.                                                     and the sports beat in Saskatchewan.
    As just a teaser, did you know that at the Back to              For the arts column, are you wired into the local
Batoche event, they intend to set a Guinness World              theatre company? Do you catch yourself staring at art
Record? During the Festival, the night of Friday, July          sometimes and liking it for no particular reason other
23 an attempt to break a Guinness World Record will             than it is art? Can you tell a story? Can you make a
take place as award winning singer/songwriter Donny             deadline? Take a photo?
Parenteau will play the music while everyone else clicks            Are you a sports hound? Do you know the coordi-
wooden spoons.                                                  nators of every tournament in the North West? Have
    The current record holder for largest spoons                some scars and a bad knee from playing flat out all your
ensemble is a group from the United Kingdom. They               life? Can you take a picture? Interview a sports star
set the Guinness Record with a total of 345 spoon               without gushing? Write and make deadlines?
players. 345 is chump change. Are you telling us that               If you think you have what it takes to be a columnist
we can’t find 345 Métis people who want to play                 in Eagle Feather News, send us an email and let us know
spoons? This record will be shattered.                          how you feel about the opportunity and what you could
    You can purchase your wooden spoons for the                 bring to our readers. If selected, you immediately
record breaking attempt in advance by going to                  become famous and even earn a bit of pizza or grocery
www.backtobatoche.ca                                            money each month.
    Also in July we will have some features on grads                Interested?
from around the province and of course our usual                    johnl@eaglefeathernews.com
columnists.
6                                                                             Eagle Feather News                                                                       JUNE 2010




 When it rains it pours
     It’s a frog happy monsoon season         Intensely cold high pressure systems
in Saskatchewan.                              flow down from the high arctic.
     There’s been enough rain to float             There are times when it is colder in
Noah’s Ark. This has been the wettest         Saskatchewan than the North Pole.
spring on record and it may very well              A merciful south wind is winter is
turn out to be the biggest mosquito           most welcome. It is a wonderful feeling
infestation on record.                        to see an eagle in March. They are the
     Not so long ago it was as dry as a       first of the migrating birds to arrive and
bone. The good earth is now as soggy          they are definitely a sign of spring.
as a used tea bag. Even the dried up               I live in the country and I was
PFRA pastures are lush with decent            considering putting in a yard light.
grass.                                                               Every farm yard
     PFRA land or                                                    seems to have one.
community pasture                                                    Then I got to
is land too marginal                                                 thinking why bother
for farming or much                                                  spending $800 plus
else. It is home to                                                  power when a
stunted         black                                                cheaply fed dog
poplar, juniper, and                                                 would         deter                         Bev Cheechoo with her husband, Bobby.
prickly pear cactus,                                                 strangers.
hardy choke cherry                                                       It turns out
and Saskatoon bushes. Not a lot out           there is good reason for those yard lights   Sask.teacher honoured for her
there except gophers, hawks, white tail       as an older wiser man once told me.
deer and the occasional wandering             Back in the 1940s there was a series of




                                                                                           W
coyote.                                       extreme winters. Saskatchewan was
     The government found it fit only for     mostly rural at the time.                    work with Aboriginal students
skimpy herds of cattle or Indian                   Blizzards lasting days at a time
reserves.                                     blanketed the province. People died lost                By Jessica Iron                         “I have been blessed in my life to be
     All this moisture must translate into    in the storms.                                      For Eagle Feather News                  able to do what I have enjoyed doing. I
a lot of thunder storms as the warmer              Some were found within sight of                                                        have worked with many wonderful people
                                                                                                        hen Bev Cheechoo (nee
weather returns. A friend of mine has         their homes. This is the reason so many                                                     who have taught me along my life’s
                                                                                                        Fosseneuve) began her
predicted our country will see more than      farms have yard lights. They are a                                                          journey,” says Cheechoo.
                                                                                                        journey as a teacher 31 years
a few tornadoes this summer. This wet         beacon to safely guide blizzard blinded                                                         “Education is the stepping stone to a
                                                                                           ago, she had no idea that she would one
weather contrasts sharply with the            lost people.                                                                                healthy lifestyle,” she says. “It is through
                                                                                           day be recognized as the Canadian
coldest winter on record. Lots of records          I still feel a cheaply fed dog and an                                                  education that we can provide a strong
                                                                                           Teachers’ Federation 2010 Outstanding
or CDs as they call them now, have been       affordable GPS from The Source would                                                        sense of students’ culture, language and
                                                                                           Aboriginal Educator. But that day has
broken.                                       be a viable more affordable alternative.                                                    of who they are and how they can fit in
                                                                                           arrived.
     Is this strange or simply                Times change and so does the weather.                                                       today’s society as a people with a strong
                                                                                                On July 15, in Edmonton, Cheechoo
Saskatchewan? Perhaps, like the                    It’s been a long harrowing five                                                        and positive identity.”
                                                                                           will be presented the award in honour of
melting of the polar ice caps, its            years but an end to the First Nations                                                           Cheechoo used this knowledge to aid
                                                                                           her lifelong dedication and service as a
evidence of climate change. Enquiring         University of Canada (FNUC) crisis                                                          fledgling teachers. She was a cooperating
                                                                                           teacher, at the Canadian Teachers’Feder-
minds want to know.                           appears in sight. A long often bitter                                                       teacher for many interns, as well as a
                                                                                           ation annual meeting.
     There is a vast area of the southern     dispute between an Indian political                                                         mentor for several first and second-year
                                                                                                Growing up in Cumberland House, a
plains called the Palliser Triangle. It was   culture and an Indian academic culture                                                      teachers.
                                                                                           small isolated island surrounded by the
an area of short grass prairie the size of    has turned in favour of academia.                                                               “We all need someone to take the time
                                                                                           North Saskatchewan River, Cheechoo
Ireland. The wet years of the early                There’s good reason to celebrate.                                                      to help us grow in our field. I was willing
                                                                                           started out as a tutor following graduation,
twentieth century attracted thousands         More obstacles need to be overcome but                                                      to do it; it gave me a lot of satisfaction.”
                                                                                           and eventually entered a three-year
of settlers whose dreams were lost when       opposition is dwindling. It is the hope                                                         The most important thing to be a
                                                                                           teaching program offered through
the prairie reverted to its more natural      of many that in a few years the                                                             successful teacher, she claims, is that you
                                                                                           NORTEP. She says she was heavily influ-
heat wave hot summers and bitterly cold       Saskatchewan First Nations College                                                          must love what you do.
                                                                                           enced by her father.
winters.                                      will restore the FNUCs reputation and                                                           “You need to be passionate about
                                                                                                 “My dad felt that Native people
     Land that should never have known        standing in the academic community.                                                         your work and your students need to know
                                                                                           should be in the classroom teaching their
the plough was abandoned. Only a few                The problem was never with the                                                        you care for them. A hug goes a long way
                                                                                           own culture and language. He felt very
farm families remained. The last visible      students or faculty but with a misguided,                                                   for a child. You have to give your heart
                                                                                           strongly that we as Native people should
legacies of their homesteads are tough        mean spirited political faction. Their                                                      and soul to your profession.”
                                                                                           be in control of our education and the
as the prairie carrangana trees and iris      rule has ended.                                                                                 She now lives in Cochrane, Ontario
                                                                                           content material that our children are
flowers.                                           Investigations and court cases are                                                     with her husband of 27 years, Bobby.
                                                                                           being taught.”
     I never liked snakes. There were         under way. Justice must take its course.                                                    They’ll travel to Edmonton in July for the
                                                                                                With that in mind, Cheechoo helped
times in my southern Alberta childhood        Revisionist history, rumours and disin-                                                     Awards ceremony.
                                                                                           develop curriculum and a Cree language
when extreme heat would drive the             formation have been squashed through                                                            “I have enjoyed my career and
                                                                                           program for her community school. The
Diamond Back Rattlesnakes out of the          social networking.                                                                          winning this award is the icing on the
                                                                                           curriculum was so successful it was
coulees and into the streets and                   Information is power and in this                                                       cake.
                                                                                           dispersed among the 31 schools in the
backyards of Lethbridge, Alberta. Some        case it was decisive. We have entered a                                                         “To have all my hard work recog-
                                                                                           Northern Lights School Division.
of them grew pretty big.                      new era.                                                                                    nized by my peers is humbling and I am
                                                                                           Cheechoo also taught a variety of grade
     Nothing so nasty lives around this            The last act will be reconciliation                                                    very grateful to Saskatchewan Teacher’s
                                                                                           levels, remaining in Cumberland House
vicinity except for a few smelly garter       between protagonists. We are all too                                                        Federation for nominating me,” says
                                                                                           at Charlebois Community School
snakes. Too cool.                             close not to work things through and                                                        Cheechoo.
                                                                                           throughout her teaching career – only
     It’s tough living in the heart of a      make a lasting peace with one another.                                                          “I understand what it means when
                                                                                           leaving twice to further her education.
continent. Our weather is not moderated            No one needs to carry embittered                                                       people say it is a blessing to be paid for
                                                                                                Now retired from teaching, she looks
by ocean currents nor mountains ranges.       feelings into a promising future.                                                           doing something you enjoy.”
                                                                                           back fondly on her teaching career.
JUNE 2010   Eagle Feather News - Education   7
8                                                                       Eagle Feather News - Education                   JUNE 2010




University
dream about to
come true for


J
Choumount
            By Darla Read
       For Eagle Feather News
     uly 28, 2009 is a day that will be
     forever etched in Denise Choumont’s
     memory.
     She spoke about it when she was
recognized for her commitment and dedi-
cation to learning at last month’s
Saskatchewan Aboriginal Literacy                                                                         Denise Choumount has
Gathering at Manitou Beach.
                                                                                                         overcome personal
                                                                                                         tragedy as she pursues
     When she accepted her award,
Choumont read a poem she’d written
about that painful day less than a year ago.                                                             her dream of furthering
                                                                                                         her education.
The audience was hushed as she remem-
bered the sound of a gun barrel rattling
against teeth and the smell of gun powder.
     Currently, Choumont is finishing her
Adult 12 in Prince Albert. It hasn’t been
an easy road.
     “I had lost my parents at a very young
age, at the age of nine, four months apart,”
she explains. “And July 28, 09, I lost my
brother. He committed suicide right
before my eyes. He shot himself in front
of me.”                                         step-parents, Ernest and Helen Morin.
     Somehow, Choumont picked herself                 “I find the inner strength in my
up.                                             children. I want to be a better mother. I
     “One month later, I had to return back     want to be there for them.”
to school, and I did it. I’m still in school,        In addition to raising her three
and I’m very proud of that. Very tired,         children, Choumont also raises her
though. Overwhelmed at times.”                  brother’s two sons.
     Choumont says at first she suffered a           As hard as that night was, Choumont
lot of flashbacks, which she says have          believes she was given a gift from the
lessened in time.                               experience: to spread a message.
      “Even reading a sentence was very              “Bring more awareness to suicide, to
hard. It was unbelievable. I just focused,      never give up. No matter how hard things
I just pushed down. I was so determined.        are, it is possible to make it.”
I was reading chapters four times over –             Choumont’s goal is to finish her Adult
I studied so hard.”                             12 and then study Human Justice in
     Choumont says her spirituality helps       university.
her through the tough times. She was                  “Going to university is a dream for
raised the traditional Cree way by her          me. Dreams happen.”
JUNE 2010                                                              Eagle Feather News - Education                                                                           9
Hard work pays off for Cowessess


I
First Nation’s nursing students
       By Creeson Agecoutay                    program in 2008 with the help of partners,
       For Eagle Feather News                  which included SIAST, the South East
     t has been a grueling two years of hard   Regional College, and some help from the
     work and studying for Renee Lerat but     province and federal government. The
     she could not be happier because          reserve’s Chief, Grady Lerat says the
today she is a nurse.                          community saw a huge need for the
      “I was very proud to be from             program considering health problems like
Cowesses and to be where I am and I was        diabetes and heart disease, which are
so proud to celebrate on my home, where        common on many Saskatchewan
I live,” Lerat said.                           reserves.
      Lerat is one of 14 graduates of the          One of the biggest problems on
Licensed Practical Nursing program             Cowesses is the lack of a dialysis machine
offered on the Cowesses First Nation.          for people with diabetes. He sees the
Twenty-year-old Lerat can now work at          hardship created when patients have to
any hospital or care home in the province.     travel far distances to get treatment. The
The program not only gave her hands on         nursing program was one way to begin         Renee Lerat of Cowessess First Nation, Rhonda Lavender, head instructor, LPN
training but many life skills as well.         working towards that goal.                   Program and Ajay Sparvier of Cowessess First Nation.
      “It’s so much more than that, you            “It’s been always a challenge in the
learn personal communication you learn         winter time to get so far away to do those         “These mature students have families         “I’m going to work for a couple of
who you are really, deep down inside you       types of services, so I think in the onset   and some of them had jobs and they             years and my life dream is to become a
learn this is what you want to do.”            we were trying to look at a way to try to    worked so hard and traveled really far         dentist, so when I go back to school I’m
      Fellow graduate Ajay Sparvier, also      bring a diabetes programmer and dialysis     through all sorts of crazy weather.”           going to be a dentist.”
from Cowesses, feels overwhelmed and           machine in the area for not only for First         “They all deserve it, I’m so proud of        Sparvier has already secured a job
excited to be finished her studies.            Nations members but non-First Nations        all of them. This is my first time teaching    with Pasqua Hospital in Regina. Her main
      “I didn’t think this day was going to    as well,” said Chief Lerat.                  (and) I’ll never forget my first class. I am   reason for becoming a nurse was for the
come. It’s been a long two years but we            Plans are underway for the Cowesses      so, so proud.”                                 Elders.
came up with a slogan when we first            to obtain a dialysis machine.                      That pride showed throughout the             “I believe being an aboriginal nurse
started, ‘no one gets left behind’ and we          Rhonda Lavender is the head instruc-     community. Renee Lerat and Ajay                they’d be more open and receptive to the
persevered through it all and I’m glad that    tor of the course and says the new LPN       Sparvier were both presented with their        new health care and the new technology
all 14 of us finished.”                        program was a real eye-opener for her and    very first star blanket. Lerat says there is   that’s out there. I just hope to keep our
      Cowesses began operating the LPN         others.                                      still much to be done.                         Elders with us a lot longer.”
10                                                                       Eagle Feather News - Health                                                                   JUNE 2010




I
Strategy brings culture into health care                                                                                             Health Region hoping
                                            nal people on how the Health Region       region; increasing Aboriginal repre-
           By Darla Read
                                                                                                                                     to increase number of
      For Eagle Feather News                can better meet Aboriginal health         sentation on all of the region’s boards
     t’s a first for the Saskatoon Health   needs.                                    and committees; developing an anti-            Aboriginal employees
     Region and the Aboriginal                  One suggestion that came out of       racism strategy; and advocating for
     community, and possibly the first      those meetings was that each hospital     policy changes at the local, provincial         The Saskatoon Health Region hopes to build
of its kind anywhere.                       in the province utilize Aboriginal        and federal levels in order to improve     a more representative workforce.
      Last month the Saskatoon              healers who would work with doctors       health access for Aboriginal people.            It’s embarking on a four-year action plan
Regional Health Authority was               and nurses – an idea welcomed by the           President of the Métis Nation –       called “Awaken the Power of Change,” and it
presented with an Aboriginal Health         chief of Kinistin.                        Saskatchewan, Robert Doucette, says        aims to have 10 per cent of its workforce be
Strategy by Strengthening the Circle            “(This strategy) incorporates a       the new strategy brings people back        Aboriginal people by the end of the four years.
– a partnership between the Kinistin        cultural presence that enables a          together when for years everyone has            Part of the plan involves partnering with
Saulteaux Nation, Central Urban             comfort zone within the Western           been working in isolation.                 school divisions and Aboriginal educational
Métis Federation Inc, and the Health        concept,” says Chief Peter Nippi.              “Each thinking that what we were      institutions to provide a health academy for high
Authority.                                      Other key priorities include devel-   doing was the best thing, and our          school students.
      Over the course of six months, the    oping an Aboriginal Health Council to     communities became unhealthy. A lot             Through one of its programs aimed at
group conducted 34 community focus          work with the Health Authority on         of things started happening, and it had    making a more representative workforce, Helen
groups, including meeting with First        implementation of the strategy;           a great impact on our community,”          Thunderchild became a health region employee.
Nations and Métis Elders, and               recruiting and retaining more Aborig-     Doucette said.                             Thunderchild took part in the Step Into Health
received feedback from 671 Aborigi-         inal employees at all levels in the            “And now, with this new strategy      Careers program.
                                                                                      that is being developed, that path is           She says the program changed her life.
                                                                                      now starting to come back together              “I didn’t only leave the program with a
                                                                                      again. Because, we’re all in this          Sterile Processing Technician certificate. I take
                                                                                      together.”                                 with me my self-confidence, my self-esteem, my
                                                                                           Geraldine Arcand, Vice-Chief of       well-being – all with the help of my mentors.
                                                                                      the Saskatoon Tribal Council, says she          “I applied for an Operating Room
                                                                                      saw a need for more Aboriginal             Attendant temporary, full-time position at the
                                                                                      employees years ago when she worked        Royal University Hospital in Labour and
                                                                                      as a social worker at the Royal Univer-    Delivery. I had been successfully chosen to fill
                                                                                      sity Hospital.                             the position for five months, then falling down
                                                                                           “People were coming there not         to a casual for less than a month. I’m now
                                                                                      realizing what they were there for         working as a permanent, full-time employee in
                                                                                      many times: language barrier. Because      Labour and Delivery, all within less than a year.”
                                                                                      it was a learning hospital, it was scary        Bonnie Blakley Vice-President of People
                                                                                      when specialists came in with all these    Strategies with the SHR, says people just need
                                                                                      interns.”                                  to be given a chance, much like she was given a
                                                                                           The strategy is outlined in a         chance when she was a teenage, single mother.
                                                                                      document of more than 70 pages.                 “I know that just like us, some of these
                                                                                      Anyone interested in a copy can            people will go from low-income housing to
Kinistin Chief Peter Nippi, Shan Landry of Saskatoon Health Region, and               contact CUMFI or the Kinistin              owning their own home. From wondering if they
CUMFI President Shirley Isbister presented the health strategy to Health              Saulteaux Nation.                          had food in their cupboard to being able to buy
Region chair Jim Rhode.                         (Photo by John Lagimodiere)                                                      food for others.And that is what life’s all about.”
JUNE 2010                                                              Eagle Feather News - Health                                                                             11




I
Childhood obesity leads to health problems later
    ’ve been reading scary statistics about childhood       become more physically active.                                a priority when they’re struggling to just make ends
    obesity and we have got to stop feeding our children         Article after article tells us that choosing to eat a    meet.
    junk and get serious about this growing epidemic        healthy diet combined with exercise is important for               Genetics and socio-economic status, however, are
of childhood obesity.                                       maintaining health and weight.                                not the biggest factors that contribute to childhood
     Today’s kids are fatter, don’t exercise, and are            It’s not just food and the lack of exercise that         obesity. The way we parent trumps them both.
showing early signs of health-related conditions more       contribute                                                         Lifestyle habits are passed down from one gener-
common in adults, like diabetes and heart disease.          to obesity.                                                   ation to the next. People in the same family tend to have
     If you think I’m pulling your leg next time you head   Studies                                                       similar eating patterns, activity levels, and attitudes
out to the pow wow take a look at some of our children      show that                                                     about being fit and healthy.
and you will see with your own eyes the growing             genetics                                                           We as parents have a huge effect on the lifestyle
problem.                                                    play        a                                                 habits of our children, both positive and negative. It’s
     You’ll find them in line for a bannock burger,         factor, and                                                   easy to see why a child raised by overweight, inactive
alongside one of their parents or grandparents.             believe it or                                                 parents might show signs of obesity by age four.
     The study, recently published in The New England       not, so does                                                       Getting back to some all but forgotten family basics
Journal of Medicine, is one of the largest to have          lack of sleep.                                                can have a huge impact on the prevention of childhood
followed children well into adulthood, over a period             Our gene pool does play a role in determining how        obesity.
spanning several decades, after having gathered             our children’s bodies will store and burn fat so as parents        Adopting simple changes such as sitting down to
detailed information on weight along with other risk        we can be aware of risk factors and make the needed           a family dinner on a regular basis can get children off
factors.                                                    changes. Some children are born with a genetic make-          to a healthy start in the battle against obesity. Don’t let
     The study used data gathered from Pima and             up that makes it more challenging to keep weight off.         your children eat in front of the television, or play their
                                                                                                                                        video games while eating their meals.

                                                Lifestyle habits are passed down from
Tohono O’odham Indians, among whom
rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes began to                                                                                                A recent study involving a large
                                                                                                                                        sample of four-year-old children found that

                                              one generation to the next. People in the
climb alarmingly many years prior to the rise
of weight problems among other Americans.                                                                                               the return of the family meal, mixed with
                                                                                                                                        less television time, and the added ingre-

                                              same family tend to have similar eating
     Findings revealed that obese children
had a much greater likelihood of dying prior                                                                                            dient of sufficient sleep, are a recipe for


                                              patterns, activity levels, and attitudes about
to reaching the age of 55, due to illness or                                                                                            keeping our kids slim and healthy.
self-inflicted injury. The results of the study                                                                                              We have to teach our children to


                                              being fit and healthy.
indicate that childhood obesity can cause                                                                                               develop healthy habits. If not us who?
serious long-term effects on health.                                                                                                         Not all is doom and gloom, there are
     According to a study out of Umea                                                                                                   things we can do like; change the way you
University Hospital in Umea, Sweden, “The                                                                                               live, and develop healthy eating habits.
results of this study suggest that obesity prevention       I was an overweight kid and still struggle with weight             You will have to incorporate some kind of exercise
should begin in early childhood.                            as an adult. I know that my own diagnosis with type 2         and you can take the weight off and keep it off long
     This will involve ensuring our children eat healthy,   diabetes is making me change my eating habit – I have         term. Hard work but worth it.
well-balanced diets and maintain physically active          no choice.                                                         Thank you for your letters and emails.
lifestyles.”                                                     Yet another challenge is that of being poor. One
     Parents should be role models for their children       preschool obesity study detected a higher level of                You can write to me at Sandee Sez C/O Eagle
when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. It’s not      obesity in lower income, minority preschoolers. It’s          Feather News P.O. Box 924 Saskatoon SK S7M 3M4 u
rocket science; eat less and reduce portion size, and       difficult for parents to make exercise and healthy meals      can email me at sandra.ahenakew@gmail.com
12                                              Eagle Feather News - National Aboriginal Day                                               JUNE 2010




 National Aboriginal Day Quiz 2010
Each year with much anticipation, readers of    for most people. How long was that $5 sup-         12. Who turned back settlers and surveyors
Eagle Feather News avidly study their history   posed to last in 1876?                             at Portage la Prairie because they were up-
of the plains and prepare for our annual Na-    A. Until you walked past the Indian taco truck.    set that the Hudson Bay had sold Rupert’s
tional Aboriginal Day History Trivia Quiz.      B. Till your cousin borrows it from you.           Land to Canada?
Without further goings on, here it is.          C. A full year of rations and supplies.
                                                D. Until tax time                                  A. Yellow Quill’s band of Saulteaux
1.The Constitution Act of 1982                                                                     B. Louis Riel
describes the Aboriginal people of                                                                             C. Customs Canada
Canada as:                                                                                                     D. Big Bear
A. Indians, Eskimos and Halfbreeds
B. Indians, Métis and Fish eaters                                                                                 13. 640 acres of land for each
C. Cree, Sash People, Inuit                                                                                       family of five were allotted to
D. Indian, Inuit and Métis                                                                                        Treaty 6 First Nations. How
                                                                                                                  many acres per family of five
2.When were Indians on reserve                                                                                    were allotted to the First Na-
allowed to be Canadian citizens?                                                                                  tions in Treaty 5?
A. 1492                                                                                                           A. 240 acres
B. 1960                                                                                                           B. 160 acres
C. 1982                                                                                                           C. 480 acres
D. 2008                                                                                                           D. 10 acres

3. Who was the rat that penned the                                                                                14. How high would your stack
White Paper in 1969 calling for full                                                                              of beaver pelts need to be in or-
assimilation of First Nation people?                                                                              der to trade for a musket?
A. Jim Pankiw
B. Maurice Vellacot                                                                                               A. 6 feet
C. Jean Chretien                                                                                                  B. The height of the counter at the
D. Brian Mulroney                                                                                                 trading post
                                                                                                                  C. 3 feet
4. In 1927, Parliament passed what                                                                                D. The height of the musket
legislation regarding Indian title?
A. Indian people cannot discuss or                                                                                15. After the Battle of Seven
spend money on land claims.                                                                                       Oaks, who wrote the song that
B. The government can take land when-                                                                             was then referred to as the
ever.                                                                                                             Métis National Anthem?
C. One land claim at a time for Indians.
D. Like it says in the song, this land is                                                                         A. Pierre Falcon
your land this land is our land                                                                                   B. Justin Beiber
                                                                                                                  C. Johnny Arcand
5. In 1763 the Royal Proclamation                                                                                 D. Betsy Ross
laid out what basic principles of
Canadian Indian policies?                                                                                       16. What do you get when you
A. Recognition of Indian lands.                                                                                 add grease and berries to dried
B. Recognition of Indian Governments.                                                                           and powdered bison meat?
C. Provisions for a Treaty process with           This historic photo depicts the making of pemmican.           A. Big Mac
the Crown.                                                                                                     B. Pemmican
D. All of the above.                            9. When was the Office of the Treaty               C. Cat food
                                                Commissioner established in Saskatchewan?          D. Trail mix
6. Who coined the term “First Nation” in        A. 1989
the 1980s?                                      B. 1876
A. Sol Sanderson                                C. 1982
B. David Ahenakew                               D. 1945
C. Gordon Tootoosis                                                                                Answers.
D. Ovide Mercredi                               10. Name the three Treaty Commissioners            Well we hope we tickled your memory bone a
                                                since 1989 in order of their service.              little bit. If you got 16 out of 16, consider
7. When did Chief Kapetekoos                                                                       yourself an Elder or Professor. If you scored
(Thunderchild) join Treaty 6?                   11. The Hudson Bay Company was given the           10-15 correct, you are a brilliant student, 5-9
A. 1876                                         right to make trade and treaties in what           correct shows you need to read a bit more but
B. 1879                                         part of North America?                             you have a good start and if you scored under
C. 1975                                         A. Winnipeg                                        5, well, better luck next year.
D. 1885                                         B. Franks Land                                     1.D, 2.B, 3.C, 4.A, 5.D, 6.A, 7.B, 8.C, 9.A, 10.
                                                C. Rupert’s Land                                   Cliff Wright, David Arnot, Bill McKnight
8. Treaty payments were set at $5 annually      D. Ontario                                         11.C, 12. A, 13.B, 14.D, 15.A, 16.B
JUNE 2010                                                           Eagle Feather News - Arts & Entertainment   13




     Kennetch Charlette and Alanis King have formed Askiy Productions.




I
Charlette, King team up to produce Born Buffalo
            By Deirdra Ness                            Born Buffalo is presented by Askiy
         Of Eagle Feather News                    Productions, a new Indigenous theatre group
     n July, Askiy Productions will present       created by friends and contemporaries
     Born Buffalo at the Wanuskewin               Charlette and King. Charlette is a member of
     Heritage ParkAmphitheatre. The play is       thePeterBallantyne First Nation from Sandy
a workshop production from playwright             Bay, Saskatchewan and King is an Anish-
Alanis King and directorKennetchCharlette.        naabeekwe from Wikwemikong Ontario.
     Set in the prairies, Born Buffalo explores   The two met 24 years ago at the Native
a contemporary zoo bison trying to rejoin its     Theatre School in Toronto.
herd and it’s complicated because there is no           “As senior artists in the province, we
herd.The buffalo characters come to life in a     want to create professional theatre produc-
magical journey of Indigenous myth and            tions of our stories from our people,” King
magic realism twisted and tied with a visiting    said about creating Askiy Productions with
genealogist. It’s humour, dancing, singing        Charlette.
and all Indian.                                        “Asartistswecanadaptthatintoourown
      “I felt it was a story from the land base   settings.”
of the prairie,” King says about writing and           As for the future of Askiy Productions,
producing the play.                               Charlette says, “In the long term, we want a
     “It seemed so fitting to have an outdoor     theatre space based in Saskatoon where we
play about the buffalo and the cultures from      can work mainly with young people. But for
the land base around Saskatoon. I wanted to       now, it’s productions.”
bring back the essence and meaning of how              While Charlette has had great success in
importantbuffaloweretopeopleatonetime.”           hiscareer,manypeoplewouldsayhisgreatest
     For Charlette something in the story         successhasbeenasamentortoyoungpeople.
caught his attention.                             He lives and teaches his culture intertwined
     “I started researching the buffalo and the   with the performing arts. He and King also
history and the stories fascinate me.The play     share a history working with young people
is a metaphor for native people.”                 as formerArtistic Directors at Saskatchewan
     Also working with the Born Buffalo           Native Theatre Company.
production are performers Gloria May                   The word “Askiy” means Mother Earth
Eshkibok, Mitchell Poundmaker, Lanny              in Cree.
Macdonald, Lacey Eninew and Brenda                     “It seemed appropriate culturally, refer-
Rump, the design team of Adrian Stimson,          encing where art comes from and creating
Jeff Chief and Kristin Friday and choreogra-      art to please Mother Earth,” Charlette
pher Jackie Latendresse.                          explained.
14                                                        Eagle Feather News - Arts & Entertainment                                                         JUNE 2010




F
Arcands raise the roof in time for Fiddle Fest 2010
     By Darla Read                                                                                                                         and because they believe in
For Eagle Feather News                                                                                                                     what we’re doing. They want
       our years of fundrais-                                                                                                              to see this culture, this
       ing, two and a half                                                                                                                 heritage, the music, fiddle,
       days of construction,                                                                                                               and the dance continue.”
and the roof is up!                                                                                                                             Arcand says fundraising
    “It’s like a dream is                                                                                                                  will continue because there
finally coming to reality,”                                                                                                                are two more phases. Phase
says Vicki Arcand, wife of                                                                                                                 two will see bleachers and a
the Master of the Métis                                                                                                                    dance floor built, and phase
Fiddle, John Arcand, and                                                                                                                   three will be more amenities.
administrative director of the                                                                                                                  “I almost want to cry
John Arcand Fiddle Fest.                                                                                                                   when I say the donations and
    Since late 2006, the                                                                                                                   the support that we have
Fiddle Fest has been                                                                                                                       received from volunteers,
fundraising to build a roof                                                                                                                from people who have come
over the annual event. For                                                                                                                 out to the fundraisers.”
the past 12 years, organizers                                                                                                                   Arcand notes there have
have rented a tent and Fiddle                                                                                                              been a thousand small
Fest-goers had to brave the                                                                                                                fundraisers to get them to
elements.                                                                                                                                  this point.
    This year the board                                                                                                                         She says the plan from
decided to go ahead with                                                                                                                   the beginning was to have a
construction because it was                                                                                                                wall of recognition for
so close to raising the                                                                                                                    anyone who donated money,
necessary funds.                                                                                                                           and she says they will fulfill
    The 80 ft. x 200 ft. foot                                                                                                              that promise even this year,
                               Vicki and John Arcand are thrilled to have a new venue in time for the John Arcand Fiddle Fest in August. although it might not be the
building, described as
similar to a big pole shed,                                                                                                                finished product.
cost $171,000, and Arcand estimates they raised at least    increments, it hasn’t been like someone just showed up     To celebrate the roof going up, there will be
$150,000 – no small feat for an organization that doesn’t and gave us this huge cheque, but that almost means an opening celebration in July. The 13th Annual
yet have charitable status, so it can’t issue tax receipts. more,” says Vicki Arcand.                              John Arcand Fiddle Fest will run from August 12
    “It just leaves you speechless. It’s been in small          “People who’ve done it have done it from the heart to 15.
                                                                                                                                                                               15




A
JUNE 2010                                                      Eagle Feather News - Arts & Entertainment


Wapos Bay proudly concludes run
           By Dana Jacobs                     Christmas special, three years later
       For Eagle Feather News                 production began for a pilot episode, and
         fter five seasons, 34 episodes and   in 2005 the Wapos Bay series began
         three Gemini Awards, the stop-       production.
         motion animation production               According to producer Anand
Wapos Bay is wrapping up its final            Ramayya, Wapos Bay has done more than
season.                                       $11 million worth of production in
    While audiences and creators are          Saskatoon over the last five years.
disappointed to see the series come to an          “We’ve employed over 50 people
end, there is an air of pride and achieve-    every year and we are talking about
ment on the Wapos Bay set.                    young, diverse people from all back-
     “We have 34 great stories and the        grounds working professionally in high
movie of the week will wrap things up         value jobs.”
nicely so we leave the characters on a             Ramayya says there is a sense of pride
good note,” said Dennis Jackson, the          that comes with having built Wapos Bay
series’ original writer and creator.          up from scratch but the show’s success
    The Wapos Bay story began when            would not have been possible without the
Jackson was in high school.                   support of government, industry and
    “I wrote a short story about my grand-    community.                                    Original writer and creator Dennis Jackson says a final farewell to the characters
father trapping up in the North and                “We are really proud of what we are      of Wapos Bay.
witnessing the environment changing           doing and we are also really happy and
around him as opposed to when he was a        proud to be doing this in Saskatchewan.       Cardinal (Corner Gas) and Gordon               a remote Cree community where modern
kid with his grandfather on the same               When Wapos Bay was picked up by          Tootoosis (North of 60, Legend of the          life and ancient traditions meet in a light-
land.”                                        the Aboriginal People’s Television            Falls).                                        hearted story of broad appeal.
    When Jackson was in his final year of     Network, two additional writers began              Tootoosis, who is the voice of                 Loosely based on personal experi-
film school he produced a six-minute          work on the series: Melanie Jackson,          Mushom on Wapos Bay, said he is sorry          ences, Jackson says the stories are often
stop-motion animation film based on the       Dennis Jackson’s wife; and Trevor             to see it come to an end.                      based on things the writers remember
short story he’d written in high school,      Cameron. The series also took on a full            “It is a lot of fun and a good fit for    from childhood.
which won a Banff Television Canada           complement of business administration,        me,” he said. “I’ve always thought that it          “We take our experiences and we just
Award.                                        creative and technical staff.                 was natural for us (Aboriginal people) to      blow it way out of proportion, we exag-
    “Just going to the Banff Festival was          The voices behind the Wapos Bay          make a transition to media like television,    gerate their adventures and turn it into a
where you really need to go in order to       characters include a cast of emerging         radio, stage, to tell our stories because we   moral lesson.
raise financing for any film and that was     talent as well as some well-known             are a oral culture traditionally.”                  “ They are universal lessons, not just
fortunate timing for me,” says Jackson.       Aboriginal performers including Andrea             Wapos Bay is about the adventures of      Aboriginal lessons and I’m really proud
    In 2000 Wapos Bay aired as a              Menard (The Velvet Devil), Lorne              three Aboriginal children growing up in        of what we have done here.”
                                                           2010 - The Yea
16                                                                    Eagle Feather News - Year of the Métis                                                                               JUNE 2010




 Battle of Batoche remembered 125 years later
 T
        he sun was shining high overhead and there was a brisk wind stirring up memories for the
        100 visitors who came to the Batoche National Historic Site to commemorate the last day of
        the Battle of Batoche. On a stage that 125 years earlier would have been in the middle of a
 Canadian bombardment, Elders, storytellers and community leaders spoke of the Resistance and
 the impact on their community.
       “We have some students here today and I want them to understand why we want it called a
 resistance and not a rebellion, a term used by some to this day,” said Karon Shmon of the Gabriel
 Dumont Institute.
        “The word rebellion has negative connotations and implies that the rebels choose to thwart
 authority at an early stage when two opposing views are present. For over a decade, the Métis sent
 the government many letters, petitions and people to advocate on their behalf, none of which made
 any difference. Once you have tried all of the safe and legal means to resist being oppressed you only
 have a few options after that, one of them being to fight back, or in this case, armed resistance.”
       A prayer was said for the fallen and memories were shared by friends. Stewart Prosper spoke
 of his community, One Arrow, and how they helped the Métis.
       “When you marry an Indian,” he joked, “you are marrying a whole bunch of people. We had
 so many relations here we had to help so we would sneak down at night. People from Whitecap and
 Muskoday helped too.”
       Time was also taken to honour deceased Métis Senator John Boucher. His daughter Jodie
                                                                                                          Jodie Zbaraschuk and her daughter stand in front of a quilt that was made
                                                                                                          depicting the life and times of deceased Métis Senator John Boucher.
 Zbaraschuk was on hand to accept a gift from the Gabriel Dumont Institute to honour her father.
       “My dad was a very honest and loyal man. He dedicated his life to the Métis people and enjoyed
 every minute of it. He spoke in schools, he got to meet the great Nelson Mandela, he dined with queens                                                                          (Photo by John Lagimodiere)
 and met with prime ministers. We are very proud of him,” said Zbaraschuk.                                pushed into it. He was good at it and a keeper of oral history. Our family participated in the resist-
       Senator Boucher was from St Louis and had great impact through his work for the Métis              ance and we had a post office in Boucheville,” said Zbaraschuk.
 community. Boucher had a Canadian senator in the family and much time was spent around the                     “That land was taken away after the Battle. Since my dad has passed we have hired a lawyer
 table talking politics and according to Jodie, the late senator liked to sit back and take it all in.    that will be investigating. If we ever get a settlement, it is ensured that the money will be going
       “He told me it wasn’t his intention to get out front and speak, but eventually he was kind of      to Métis youth for education. That’s what my dad wanted. He has never done anything for himself.”
                                                                                                                The event closed with a reading by Métis artist, author and educator Leah Dorion. She read

     Métis Did you know?
                                                                                                          from her book The Giving Tree, a lesson for all the people in the crowd about our connection to Mother
                                                                                                          Earth.
                                                                                                                The table of bannock and jam was then opened up and people ate, or stared out over the valley,
                                                                                                          minds wandering back to 125 years ago when, by that time, only 50 or 60 old men stayed behind
     Did you know? Gabriel Dumont was elected President of the St.
                                                                                                          to face the Canadian soldiers with no ammunition, just their hearts. The day ended harshly for many
     Laurent Council in 1873.
                                                                                                          of those old men.
                                                                                                                “These men stayed behind, knowing they would be killed so the younger men could escape to
     Did you know? Gabriel Dumont ran the only ferry in the re-
                                                                                                          continue to look after their families, said Karon Shmon.
     gion at Gabriel’s Crossing. Dumont’s ferry was a flat scow
                                                                                                                “This Year of the Métis allows us to tell our story. The privilege of documenting history has
     27ft long and 12 ft wide and was capable of carrying 4 Red
                                                                                                          always gone to the victors and it wasn't our story that was taught after the resistance. Our story-
     River Carts or 2 wagons.
                                                                                                          telling tradition enabled Métis scholars such as Howard Adams and others to bring our culture and
                                                                                                          history to the attention of others but more importantly, to preserve it for ourselves.
     Did you know? The Métis people elected Louis Riel t wice to
                                                                                                                “Our Elders such as Rose Fleury and the late Senator John Boucher have added immensely as
     the House of Commons as their representative for the riding
                                                                                                          advocates and in their dedication to carrying our culture and history forward. At this sacred site
     of Provencher—once in 1873 and again in 1874. Riel was
                                                                                                          today, we remember our ancestors with sorrow and with pride and express our gratitude to them.”
     never able to take his seat in parliament because at that time
                                                                                                                                                                                         - By John Lagimodiere
     the government offered a $5,000 bounty for his capture.
ar of the Métis
 JUNE 2010                                                                   Eagle Feather News - Year of the Métis                                                                                         17




 Métis life after 1885
 F
       ollowing the 1885 Resistance, the vast influx of non-Aborig-   following winter. Many had their homes destroyed and their             crops,times remained difficult. In the 1890s, crop failures plagued
       inal settlers and the failure of the Scrip system greatly      property looted, resulting in lengthy compensation claims from         farmers. In some regions, Métis families were forced to kill their
       disrupted the Métis’ traditional lifestyles. From 1885 to      Ottawa. Some obtained freighting work to make ends meet;               cattle for food – a desperate move for people who owned so few
 1930, the Métis had difficulty adapting to the rapidly changing      however, these contracts were low paying and were becoming             animals. Eventually, some families abandoned their farms or sold
 way of life in the Prairie West.                                     scarce as railways and steamers began hauling goods.                   all their possessions to cover their debts.
      Throughout the nineteenth century, the Métis practised a             Merchants were reluctant to establish or re-establish stores            Many Métis became landless and squatted on the approach-
 mixed economy that included harvesting seasonal flora and fauna      in the Batoche area, reducing opportunities for freighting contracts   es of Crown Land, and thus became known as the “Road
 resources, supplemented with farming and wage labour. After          and other employment. Nonetheless, some Métis, however, became         Allowance People.”
 1885, however, many Métis relied on low-paying seasonal jobs to      successful businessmen, ranchers, farmers, clerics, and politi-              Only those who owned property and paid property taxes could
 support themselves. Many ended up living in poverty.                 cians.                                                                 send their children to school. As a result, three generations of
      Since spring crops had not been planted at the time of the           A lack of viable employment opportunities resulted in many        Métis were unable to receive a basic education (although the
 1885 Resistance, many Batoche-area families ran out of food the      Métis families living in a deplorable state. For instance, in 1888,    children of property owners or those who attended industrial or
                                                                      Alexander Cardinal’s eight-member family lived in a house              residential schools received some education).
                                                                      approximately three metres square. It was almost devoid of                   The Métis who squatted on road allowances had a much lower
                                                                      furniture, bedding, and food.                                          standard of living than nearby Euro-Canadians and Europeans.
                                                                            The North West Mounted Police and the Duck Lake Indian           This poverty occurred well into the mid-twentieth century. As
                                                                      Agency distributed flour and beef or bacon to starving families        hunting and fishing regulations increased and government work
                                                                      around Batoche. Government officials gave unemployed people            projects failed, more Métis turned to government aid or “relief’ to
                                                                      provisions in exchange for hauling and cutting wood, or doing          support themselves.
                                                                      handy work around police barracks.                                           The Métis’ poverty was so disheartening it rendered many
                                                                           Many Métis soon needed government assistance to acquire           hopeless and helpless. Having to live on the outskirts of a settle-
                                                                      food and clothing. Some sold Scrip to speculators to feed their        ment in run-down housing without meaningful employment was
                                                                      families, resulting in the loss of their lands.                        detrimental to Métis’ self-respect.
                                                                           Even when the Métis obtained seasonal work or planted                    Endemic racism also forced many Métis to deny their
                                                                                                                                             heritage and assimilate into the Euro-Canadian mainstream in
                                                                                                                                             order to escape negative stereotypes and economic and social
       The Scrip system was implemented after the 1869-70          Commissions were advertised in newspapers and on posters,
                                                                                                                                             marginalization.
  Resistance resulted in the creation of The Manitoba Act,         but many Métis were illiterate and missed the commissions.
                                                                                                                                                                                             - By David Morin
  which set aside 1.4 million acres of land to extinguish the            Sometimes the Scrip Commissioners missed entire Métis
  Métis’ Aboriginal title to the land. The two types of Scrip      communities. There was also no protection against fraud.



                                                                                                                                    1885
  created for this process were Land                                                              Many had their names forged       Chronology of the 1885 Resistance
                                             What is Scrip?                                                                                           (March 18)
  and Money Scrip.                                                                                without their knowledge.
       When the system first started,                                                             Speculators bought Scrip from

                                                                                                                                    The Métis took control of Batoche, and seized the local In-
  the value of the scrip given to the                                                             Métis at very low prices and
                                                                                                                                    dian Agent and other government officials.


                                                                                                                                    1885
  Métis was either 160 acres of land or $160 cash to be used       then sold them to the main chartered banks in Canada.
  for the purchase of land. The value was increased to 240               Speculators ended up obtaining 12,560 Money Scrips out
  acres or $240 due to the rising cost of land. Scrip was handed   of 14,849 issued. They also managed to leave the Métis with                        (March 19)
  out by Scrip Commissions, which were like Treaty Commis-         only one per cent of the 138,320 acres of Land Scrip issued
                                                                                                                                    Louis Riel was informed that the Métis petitions would be
                                                                                                                                    met with bullets. Thus, the Métis immediately formed a Pro-
  sions. Scrip Commissioners travelled to various Métis commu-     in northwest Saskatchewan.
                                                                                                                                    visional Government. Pierre Parenteau was chosen as
  nities and gather Scrip applications.                                  For more information, please read the essay by Leah
       The Scrip System was very flawed for many reasons,          Dorion and Darren Préfontaine at: http://www.metismuse-          president, Charles Nolin was commissioner, Gabriel Du-
                                                                                                                                    mont was general, French Canadian Philippe Garnot was
                                                                                                                                    secretary, and twelve other Métis men were elected as
  resulting in the systematic loss of Métis lands. The Scrip       um.ca/resource.php/00725.

                                                                                                                                    members of the council. The non-Aboriginal settlers and
                                                                                                                                    English Métis withdraw their support of the Provisional
                                                                                                                                    Government. The Provisional Government or Exovedate
                                                                                                                                    established its headquarters at the Batoche Church.

                                                                                                                                    To be continued next month ...
                                                                                                                                    Prepared by the Gabriel Dumont Institute with material devel-
                                                                                                                                    oped by Darren Prefontaine, Leah Dorion, Ron Laliberté, and
                                                                                                                                    Father Guy Lavallée.
18                                                                         Eagle Feather News - Culture                                                                       JUNE 2010



Northern students collaborate


A
to create heroic short stories
         By Andréa Ledding                     outbreak, fearing H1N1, but endorsed
       For Eagle Feather News                  everything via email.
         four-story graphic novel was               “Back in Green Lake we spent a day
         written by five to nine-year-olds     with them, and the material the kids came
         from Saskatchewan’s North –           up with is genius,” said Gosselin.
with a little help from some friends.               Stories included “Scotty, the Deer
     During Mark Dieter’s artist-in-           Who Wanted To Be A Boy”, “The
residence stint at La Ronge, an expansion      Loneliest Bear in Green Lake”, “Kevin
of a program previously funded by              Versus Felgatz”, and “Katrina's Quest to
Aboriginal Arts and Culture Leadership         Rid Patuanak of Bad Dreams”.
engaged him with the Saskatchewan                   As a former teacher, Gosselin was
Writers Guild and Northern Schools.            impressed with the kids’ focus and
Dieter’s program, which he created to          creativity.
help students produce short story narra-            “It was a very remarkable experience
tives, explored the theme “The Hero In         to sit in this class and talk shop with these
Us All”.                                       kids for a full day... these stories are great,
     Working with K to 4 classrooms in         they’ve got everything a good story
Green Lake and Patuanak, Dieter started        needs.”
talking stories with the kids about unlikely        Afterwards, Saganace finalized
heroes rising above, conquering fears, and     graphics and artwork, Gosselin polished
making tough choices for the sake of           up details, and Dieter produced and
others. He drafted them and worked with        managed the overall project. The plan is
a story editor – Eagle Feather News’           to pitch and publish the graphic novel, and
former arts and entertainment columnist        inspire and empower youth about the
Mike Gosselin.                                 magic of creative writing – but prominent
     Then, along with artist Carrie            Canadian screenwriter Jeremy Boxen,
Saganace, they both travelled back to the      after hearing the plots, said the stories not
communities to talk changes and further        only stand on their own but would make
ideas. Patuanak had to cancel due to a flu     decent movies, too!




                                                                                                 R
                                                                                                 Peepeekisis craftspeople share skills
                                                                                                           By Andréa Ledding                     rawhide containers and quill jewelery with
                                                                                                         For Eagle Feather News                  the community during cultural camp.
                                                                                                          obin Brass didn’t have to think        Campbell Papequash of Key First Nation
                                                                                                          twice when Elwood Jimmy at             led a daytrip gathering birchbark, and
                                                                                                          Sakewewak Artist’s Collective          birchbark basketry was taught by Lester
                                                                                                 invited her to make a project proposal.         and Rose Morin, their son, and Alice,
                                                                                                      “I had always wanted to just really        Lester’s mom, from Big River. Flora
                                                                                                 focus on traditional methods using natural      Winonis, Alice’s mom who is in her 90s,
                                                                                                 materials,” said Brass, who lined up expert     had to cancel due to illness.
                                                                                                 craftspeople at Peepeekisis First Nation to          “These teachers who are experts now
                                                                                                 teach skills she hadn’t learned herself.        were almost entirely self-taught. Some had
                                                                                                      “I grew up in a family that hunted lots,   it handed it down to them, but others have
                                                                                                 that was my connection – but I always           just had years of incredible dedication and
                                                                                                 wanted to learn more.”                          persistence.”
                                                                                                      Intensive workshops focused on tradi-           Master potter Colleen Aimes from
                                                                                                 tional ways using all-natural materials.        Manitoba taught Indigenous pottery –
                                                                                                 Free to participants, thanks to SaskCulture     stones are hand-dug, crushed into clay,
                                                                                                 funding, Brass paid teachers a decent wage      then hand-coiled pots are fired with dried
                                                                                                 for time, travel, expertise and dedicated       buffalo chips in an open pit.
                                                                                                 years of learning and acquired knowledge.            “So few people anywhere now know
                                                                                                      Gerald Cook of Lac La Ronge                how to do the old Indigenous pottery
                                                                                                 provided deer hides to learn traditional        methods,” said Brass. “The moment the
                                                                                                 tanning with Pat Koochicum and Marie            chips turned to ash and you could see those
                                                                                                 Cardinal. Porcupine quill work was taught       pots – they are glowing red hot – that
                                                                                                 by Angela Redmund and Louis                     moment gave me tingles.”
                                                                                                 Moosecamp, of Standing Buffalo and Pine              This was exactly what people needed,
                                                                                                 Ridge.                                          said Brass.
                                                                                                      Robert and Delphine Bellegarde did                            • Continued on Page 19
JUNE 2010                                                                  Eagle Feather News - Culutre   19




    New regalia making is part of the community’s rejuvenation initiative.




N
SaskCulture comes through for Muskoday
                                  By Andréa Ledding
                                For Eagle Feather News
          ewly hired Muskoday Community School Co-ordinator Michelle Vandevort
          had never written a grant before, but on her first try secured full funding for
          project R.O.C.K. (“Rediscovering Our Cultural Knowledge”).
      “It goes to show if you believe, your words will come out and you’ll be success-
ful,” said Vandevort.
     Saskatoon Tribal Council and SaskCulture partnered to deliver grant writing
workshops, and culture officer Damon Badger Heit offered further expertise.
     “I was nervous, but it was the best one they’d received at that time.”
     Funding not only meant supplies, but leaders Margaret and David Larocque driving
weekly from Prince Albert to Muskoday First Nation since December – the real key.
     “They were so consistent to come each Tuesday night without fail,” she said. “The
kids have learned so much – we can hear the boys drumming and singing as the girls
are sewing their jingle dresses and fancy dresses.”
     Two school volunteers, Diane Sutherland and Brad Parent, also generously donated
their Tuesday evenings to help 15 or so interested youth – a long but worthwhile day for
students and teachers. All leaders donated paid planning time to the program and kids.
     “It’s so worth it, as the only program consistently running through the school year.
With the grant money, it will now be able to sustain itself for a couple of years – we
have all the supplies and Diane and I have learned to make the regalia,” she said, explain-
ing their goal was an independent on-going program once they’d mastered the basics.
     Regalia will be used by the makers, but remain school property. Once outgrown,
another child can use it, creating a long-term collection. Grant money also purchased
a drum and each boy proudly owns a stick he made himself. The school’s first mini
pow wow will happen before June 18’s summer feast, with dreams to include other
schools and First Nations before each of their four annual feasts.
     “The boys are going to be singing and drumming to initiate the girls with their
outfits,” explained Vandevort. They’ve been invited to repeat the initiation this August.
     “The whole community is excited – Muskoday’s traditional annual pow wow has
been running for some time but it was expensive to get an outfit.”
     But thanks to SaskCulture, the Laroques, and Edith Dreaver, Muskoday’s Elder
liaison who taught beadwork and moccasin-making, they have knowledge and supplies.
     “Everyone is talking about it. SaskCulture was so awesome. I don’t know if they
realize what they’ve done for our community. Our culture has been so lost and you
can’t just go out and find it, not without guidance and support.”


Traditional annual pow wow gets a boost
• Continued from Page 18
      So many are disconnected from nature and working with their hands.
      “When they get out and learn to work with these materials, you need to pay attention
to the cycles of the seasons, become aware of when things are ready to be gathered –
timing is very important – it’s a naturally healing thing.”
      People are inspired, and want more school and camp programs, she said, while
mental health counselors jump at the therapeutic effect of funding and programming
for clients.
      “Even if you’re living rurally or on-reserve, there’s still a disconnect from the land.
We don’t know how to do these things anymore,” noted Brass. “But also there are deeper
more important ramifications than just sitting around making arts and crafts.”
      In an oral culture, teachings, language, and traditions are transmitted while people
work together with their hands.
      “We all learn lots – not just culturally but conversation about family history – and
it stirs the imagination in people to open their eyes and look at the natural world around
them.”
20                                                       Eagle Feather News - Careers/Business                                                   JUNE 2010




Ahenakew new chair


F
of provincial Chamber
               By Warren Goulding
              Of Eagle Feather News
        or the first time ever, the Saskatchewan Chamber
        of Commerce has elected an Aboriginal business-
        man as its chair.
     Richard Ahenakew, the general manager of the North
Lights Casino in Prince Albert, was named to the position
at the Chamber’s annual conference in May. Ahenakew
is a member of the Ahtahkakoop First Nation and is the
only First Nations chair to lead the provincial Chamber
in its 90-year history.
     Ahenakew says he’s looking forward to continuing
the work of previous leaders who have embraced the
Aboriginal business community in recent years.
     “As a First Nations person I want to continue what
some of the board members have done and try and get                  Richard Ahenakew (left) with Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan.
more First Nations people involved,” said Ahenakew, who
has been an active member of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce for eight
years.
     “Not only at the Sask. Chamber, but at any Chamber or REDA, we need them to
get involved.”
     Ahenakew says there’s an eagerness within the non-Native business community
to learn more about First Nations and Métis issues.
     “They’re saying they don’t know enough about First Nations people to say
something in a meaningful way on First Nations issues, so we don’t know how to
properly support them or even if we can support them on these issues.”
     Assuming the role of chair was not something Ahenakew particularly aspired to.
     “Something you have to know about me is that my life is my family at home and
my work family in P.A.,” he explains.
     “That was my circle and I never wanted to venture beyond that. I never wanted
to be a part of anything like a Chamber.”
     Candidly, he says his preconceived notions caused him to wonder why he would
even want to be a member. That changed when he saw the inner workings of the influ-
ential business organization.
     “I see a passion there and people that genuinely want to involve First Nations
people,” says Ahenakew who has been at the helm of the Northern Lights Casino for
five years and a Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority employee for more than 13
years.
     “It’s an amazing time right now because there are so many people and other
provinces that are looking towards Saskatchewan for answers because we have so
many success stories and partnerships that have happened. Our tribal councils have
been successful, for example,” Ahenakew points out.
      “We are very excited to have Richard as our new chair,” said Saskatchewan
Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan.
     “His commitment to the development and promotion of First Nations business-
es and employees will help the Chamber its quest to ensure the sustainable and strategic
growth of our province.”
                                                                                                                                                            21



O
JUNE 2010                                                          Eagle Feather News - Careers/Business


$25.9 million projects for Onion Lake
         nion Lake Cree         planning,       innovative     community           capital    than building much needed
         Nation recently        financing and implement-       projects such as an            housing and infrastructure.
         announced it will      ing shovel-ready capital       approved $4.5 million              “This      is     about
engage in phase two of a        projects       are     very    home ownership program         expanding our Nation’s
$25.9 million investment        important. A second phase      with      First     Nation     economy through partner-
on major community              in capital projects we         Mortgage Housing Fund          ships and creating training
capital projects that will      announced is just the          and a $3 million RBC on-       and jobs for our First
create around 150 jobs.         beginning towards positive     reserve home ownership         Nation citizens,” says
    The Onion Lake Cree         self-reliance and economic     program; eight CMHC            Chief Fox.
Nation has a total popula-      growth.”                       housing units; $800,000            “Our       community
tion of 5,000 with most of           The list of projects is   federal CEAP stimulus          benefits by having a
the citizens (3,600) living     staggering and include a       funding for lot services for   quality way of life by
on-reserve and is located       $7.5 million on-reserve        home subdivision infra-        investing in better housing,
north of Lloydminster,          housing unit construction;     structure.                     roads, water and waste
right in oil country.           a $2.5 million home reno-          “We are very pleased       systems.”




   Onion Lake has announced a series of major investments in community projects including housing.                           Onion Lake Chief Wallace Fox

     “The Onion Lake Cree       vation program; a $5           to be a partner in the
Nation’s         economic       million multi-year plan for    projects at Onion Lake
stimulus plan is a reality      community             roads    Cree Nation, and to help
and growing. These              improvement construction;      bring life to this important
shovel-ready community          a $5 million dollar OLCN       vision for the community,”
capital projects are a result   contribution share to a        says Doris Bear, Vice
of innovative partnerships      multi-million dollar low       President        Aboriginal
with the three levels of        pressure water distribution    Markets at RBC.
government, construction,       system for all homes; a             “This partnership is
trades, businesses, and the     $1.5 million education         one more way RBC is
Royal Bank of Canada,”          daycare facility; a $1.466     demonstrating           our
says Chief Wallace Fox.         million therapeutic group      commitment to serving the
     “We have one of the        home facility; a $2.6          needs of First Nation
largest on-reserve popula-      million federal govern-        communities today and for
tions in the province of        ment (INAC) capital            the future.”
Saskatchewan.            Our    school roof replacement;            “This investment in
community management            and various on-going           the second phase is more
22                                                                Eagle Feather News - Careers/Business                                                              JUNE 2010

                                                                                                                              Bob Kirkpatrick of PotashCorp was on hand to offer
                                                                                                                              CLASSIC Director Amanda Dodge and Board
                                                                                                                              member Glen Luther a $100,000 grant for them to
                                                                                                                              help carry out free legal services.
                                                                                                                                                         (Photo by Andrea Ledding)




C
CLASSIC support for legal services
                 By Andréa Ledding                            community.”
               For Eagle Feather News                              Gillian Goff, a CLASSIC law student, explained
         ommunity Legal Assistance Services for               they provide essential legal services to areas under-
         Saskatoon Inner City (CLASSIC) announced,            served or not covered by Legal Aid – like illegal
         with PotashCorp, the first ever fundraising          evictions, dispute resolutions, or income support and
campaign for CLASSIC’s Endowment Fund, raising                employment issues. Priority is given to Aboriginal
seed money to generate long-term annual revenue for           clients, many of whom have never experienced mean-
this valuable community service.                              ingful access to justice.
     “Our key priority is to reinvest in the communities           Affiliation with the College of Law and hands-on
in which we operate,” said Bob Kirkpatrick of Potash-         experience for students provides an opportunity to work
Corp.                                                         with clients in need, but also makes students aware of
     “We will be contributing, dollar to dollar, a matching   existing inequalities within the system so they can work
gift up to $100,000 for every dollar donated to               towards making a difference.
CLASSIC.”                                                          “We hope to provide Aboriginal people with some
     Glen Luther, College of Law professor and                kind of sense it is their justice system, too,” noted Luther,
CLASSIC board member, added they hope particularly            listing areas CLASSIC has represented such as benefits
to appeal to Saskatoon’s legal community, to sustain          and disability payments and issues, residential school
access to justice.                                            payments, or damage deposit and evictions. “CLASSIC
     “As a non-profit, stable funding is hard to secure,      is easier to approach.”
but we are an advocacy clinic which provides real assis-           The campaign was
tance with legal matters to those who have no other           launched at White Buffalo,
means,” Luther noted, adding that law and justice only        home to the CLASSIC
exist if everyone has equal access.                           offices, and will run until
     “This makes for stronger individuals, family, and        Nov. 30.
JUNE 2010                                                        Eagle Feather News - Careers/Business                                                                          23




S
SaskPower inks deal with three First Nations
               By John Lagimodiere                          aging the capital and expertise of development partners         positive long-term benefits for the members of our
               Of Eagle Feather News                        like Brookfield and Kiewit.”                                    community and the people of Saskatchewan.”
      askPower is working with three Saskatchewan First          Under the terms of the agreement, new studies will              Should the project prove to be an economical supply
      Nations to study the feasibility of developing a      take place to validate the results of previous site selection   option, the First Nations-private developer partnership
      renewable energy project on the Saskatchewan          assessments. The studies will also determine the feasi-         would develop the site, build the power plant and enter into
River system.                                               bility of the project from an environmental and economic        a long-term power purchase agreement with SaskPower.
                                                                                                                                 Pursuing emission free hydroelectric generation was
                                                                                              Back row (left to right):     one of the medium and long-term supply options SaskPower
                                                                                              Bill Boyd, Minister re-       identified when it shared its future generation plans with
                                                                                              sponsible for                 the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Crown
                                                                                              SaskPower, Ian Kerr,          and Central Agencies in late 2009 and early 2010.
                                                                                              Brookfield Renewable
                                                                                              Power, Chief Guy
                                                                                              Lonechild; front row
                                                                                              (left to right): Chief
                                                                                              Robert Head, Peter
                                                                                              Chapman Band, Chief
                                                                                              Wally Burns, James
                                                                                              Smith Cree Nation and
                                                                                              Chief Calvin Sander-
                                                                                              son, Chakastaypasin
                                                                                              Band of the Cree.

     The James Smith Cree Nation, Chakastaypasin Band       perspective. This phase of the
of the Cree and the Peter Chapman Band – along with         project could take up to four
their development partners, Brookfield Renewable Power      years.
and Peter Kiewit Sons Co. – have reached an agreement            “In the early 1980s our
with SaskPower to study the feasibility of developing a     past leaders had a vision for a
hydroelectric project that would provide approximately      hydro project on our land,”
250 megawatts of power to the provincial electrical grid.   James Smith Cree Nation
     Known as the Pehonan Hydroelectric Project – a Cree    Chief Wally Burns said.
word meaning ‘we’re waiting by the creek’ – the proposed        “We are pleased to see
location would be downstream from the forks where the       that this government is
South Saskatchewan River meets the North                    making it a priority to work
Saskatchewan River.                                         with First Nations and engage
     “Public-private partnerships provide many benefits     us in opportunities that will
to the people of Saskatchewan and our government is         benefit our members and
pleased with the potential of the Pehonan project,”         hopefully make this vision a
minister responsible for SaskPower Bill Boyd said.          reality. If this project can
     “It allows First Nations like James Smith, Chakas-     overcome all feasibility
taypasin and Peter Chapman to become active partici-        obstacles, it has the potential
pants in Saskatchewan’s growing economy, while lever-       to have significant and
24                                                                     Eagle Feather News - Health                                                                     JUNE 2010



Body shape,
expectations
linked to health
           By Doug Collie
       For Eagle Feather News
     Do Aboriginal men have concerns
about their bodies and how they look?
     That’s a question Battlefords Tribal
Council Indian Health might look into,
according to executive director Janice
Kennedy.
     BTC Indian Health and researchers
from the University of Saskatchewan just
completed a ground-breaking research
project asking Aboriginal women how
they feel about their bodies.
     There’s a concern that it may be
unhealthy to worry too much about what
your body is like.
     First Nations women were given
                                             Youth and mentors have spent lots of time with cameras lately and here they posed for a group shot.                     (photo supplied)
video cameras about two years ago. They
were asked to record feelings and obser-     look like that,” she said.                     healthy that way, and to work on my           BTC Indian Health officials and U of S
vations about their own bodies and                Kennedy says she, too, has struggled      weight issue, that’s what I have to work      researchers will examine the data. They’ll
society’s idealized body shape.              with body image, so she used the camera        on now.”                                      look for themes to explore further.
     Kennedy says some women can go to       as well.                                            A gala was held at the Western Devel-         Kennedy says one possibility may be
unhealthy extremes, trying to fit the body        “I use the fact that I quit smoking in    opment Museum in North Battleford the         time to see how Aboriginal men feel about
image they have in mind.                     2002,” Kennedy says. “The flip side of         evening of June 2 to celebrate completion     their bodies and society’s expectations for
     “We also had some young women           that was I gained a lot of weight, so people   of the project. About 100 people attended     them.
involved in the research project and some    looking at me would say, ‘you know,            the gala, including researchers, BTC               “Instead of women’s health, do we
of them do idolize those really, you know,   Janice it’s not healthy,’ because, look,       Indian Health officials and participants.     want to look at men’s health,” she asked.
paper-thin models, and some have             she’s overweight. But, me, personally, I            Kennedy says now that the video          “You know, maybe that’s another future
basically starved themselves, trying to      know I’ve quit smoking and I feel I’m          portion of this project has been completed,   research project.”
JUNE 2010   Eagle Feather News - National Aboriginal Day   25
26                                                                             Eagle Feather News                                                               JUNE 2010




Hip hop artist Stylez determined to


D
devote his life to music, his rst love
                   By Dana Jacobs                                   “I grew up in the hip hop lifestyle. A lot of hip hop
               For Eagle Feather News                         artists came up having the struggle, a big family and
          C Comic writers might have modeled Watchmen         having a single mom, and looking after yourself. If you
          character Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias after             need something you go get it, by any means necessary.
          Alexander the Great, but Joey Stylez is a more      I grew up with that mentality.”
likely candidate for superhero turned entrepreneur bent            His album, Blackstar, is a tribute to his grandmother.
on world domination for the good of mankind.                       “She is like the last of her kind. Through her and
     Saskatchewan born hip-hop artist Joey Stylez is          people like her, the few that are left, they give a lot of
nearing the end of his “Paint the Country Red” tour,          motivation, a lot of strength to keep their culture and they
performing at approximately 600 reserves and Métis            make me want to keep it alive.”
communities in three years, but he is not ready to sit back        The message of unity and cultural pride comes
and reap the rewards any time soon.                           through in Stylez’ music and videos. In June of 2008,
     “I set out to achieve a goal and I achieved it,” said    when the Government of Canada formally apologized
Stylez. “I’m happy but I don’t think that I’m ever going      for the abuse to Native Americans, Stylez performed his
to be satisfied. I’m a very competitive person and I am       song “Living Proof” live on a CBC special dedicated to
always going to be chasing. I always want more.”              the reconciliation of Residential School victims.
     While Stylez says he is first and foremost a hip-hop          In typical Stylez fashion, he intends to take his
artist, he’s got his sights set on many new conquests.        message one step further. Plans for a short musical film
     “Whether it’s music, interviews, videos, managing,       are in the works. While he is being tight-lipped about the
producing, films …I ’m gonna do it all,” he promises.         details, Stylez says it is “gonna be based around what’s
     “For this tour, I’m looking for any reserve,” says       going on around here. It’s gonna to be something that no
Stylez. “Once that’s open I can start my own manage-          one has ever seen, with a look no one has ever seen and
ment company and start working with other artists to do       a story no one has ever heard.”
shows on this circuit. It’s our own market, so we gotta            Whether he’s an evil genius or a superhero, Joey
protect our own market.”                                      Stylez is relentless in his ambitions. He admits to being
     Drawing a parallel between hip hop music’s roots         audacious at times but attributes his success to his unwill-
in African American culture and the Canadian Aborigi-         ingness to accept boundaries.
nal experience, Stylez says he thinks Native people                 “I truly am in love with music, I owe it my life and
should be able to relate to the music.                        that’s what I’m going to give it.”                             Joey Stylez says he owes his life to music.
JUNE 2010                                                                            Eagle Feather News                                                                                     27




A
Gathering of Nations: Experience of a lifetime
        By Creeson Agecoutay                                                                                                                          France. William Moulin and Alexandra
        For Eagle Feather News                                                                                                                        Bicais travelled from overseas to experience
          few months ago I was assigned to                                                                                                            the pow wow. But they weren’t there just to
          be the camera man for a docu-                                                                                                               watch. They were there to take part, wearing
          mentary on the world’s biggest                                                                                                              traditional regalia and competing. Moulin
pow wow. How could I say no? It turned                                                                                                                only spoke French so when Nelson inter-
out to be one of the most memorable events                                                                                                            viewed him, Bicais translated for us.
of my life.                                                                                                                                                “He says he’s very proud to be here and
     The 27th annual Gathering of Nations                                                                                                             share with Native Americans and he can feel
pow wow took place in Albuquerque, New                                                                                                                the strength and it’s a good feeling around
Mexico in late April and attracted thousands                                                                                                          here,” Bicais said.
of people from across North America and                                                                                                                     “We don’t have a chance to dance in
beyond.                                                                                                                                               France that much so it’s good for us to be
      The story was for CTV’s weekly show,                                                                                                            here to share with different people,” he
Indigenous Circle, and it was a long-time                                                                                                             added.
dream come true for host Nelson Bird. He                                                                                                                   So that is my experience in a nutshell.
did everything in his power to make it                                                                                                                There’s so much more to say about it
happen – and it did.                                                                                                                                  including the food, traders market, and Stage
     So there we were on the pow wow trail,                                                                                                           49 with all the performers but I’m limited
so to speak. Nelson and I opted to drive                                                                                                              for time and space. The one thing that will
instead of fly so we could experience all the                                                                                                         always stand out to me is that the Gathering
road has to offer. The drive there was a fun                                                                                                          gave me a true sense of pride to be First
                                                 Creeson Agecoutay and Nelson Bird stop for a photo with a dance troupe at the
experience – but that’s another story all                                                                                                             Nation. It’s also good to see that our culture
                                                 Gathering of Nations Powwow in New Mexico.
together.                                                                                                                                             is not just for us to experience. It’s for
     So here I am, this young rez boy from       and tripod and interviewing and shooting           Arizona and he was there for his daughter.        everyone and it is evident as you look at the
Cowesses, heading to Albuquerque                 everything and everyone in sight. But I’m               “This is our first year actually, my grand   crowds where people from all backgrounds
wondering what to expect. I thought ‘if          not complaining because how many people            daughter is a pow wow princess and we             come together to celebrate Indigenous
we’re going to New Mexico, then it will be       can say they get paid to do what we did?           bring her to experience the pow wow,”             culture.
very, very hot!’That wasn’t the case, though.         This year’s Gathering of Nations pow          Villalpandl explained.                                 Someday I hope to return to New
When we got there it was warmer back             wow took place outdoors in a football                   I’ll never forget a man named Ausben         Mexico for another Gathering. I need to go
home in Saskatchewan.Albuquerque is a            stadium. It is the first time this has happened.   SpottedEagle. He is a black Indian from           back. This trip was a working experience
city of nearly one million people with huge      In years past, the event was held in an indoor     Fort Worth, Texas. At age 27, he came to the      but allowed me the opportunity to witness
freeways and businesses everywhere.              stadium dubbed ‘the pit.’ Organizers wanted        Gathering with his parents.                       a true cultural phenomenon. I also know I
     I was a little out of my element until we   to take it outside because normally the                 “I dance pow wow to keep the tradition       want to share the experience with more
arrived at the pow wow. The parking lot was      weather is very hot outside.                       of my ancestors because especially for black      friends and family members, and like I did
filled with cars bearing license plates from          First Nation and Native Americans             Indians there are a lot of black native           with Nelson, we will drive the whole 2,000
across North America. Once inside and the        were there by the thousands including every        Americans but because we’ve been                  kilometers
pow wow was underway, we wanted to stay          tribe from Apache, to Navajo to Cree.              suppressed, a lot of the times everybody               The benefits of the Gathering cannot be
in one spot and take it all in. Like my mom      During our filming we met a multi-cultural         likes to try and forget so I want to bring it     measured in words alone, but at least now I
always says though, “you can’t always get        array of people and they all had different         back in my family to keep the tradition           can start a conversation by saying: “Did you
what you want.”                                  reasons for being there.                           going,” he said.                                  know I once went to the world’s biggest
     It was straight to work lugging a camera         Michael Villalpandl is from Salt River,            On a global level, we met a couple from      pow wow?”
28                                                                        Eagle Feather News - Sports                                                                        JUNE 2010

                                                                                               building of community and family. I re-
                                                                                               ally appreciate the support of not only the
 Shawn Atleo up close and personal                                                             staff, but we are honored with invitations
 1. What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?                                     from all across the country. But I do think
                                                                                               it is important to stay grounded in who
 I love being out on a boat on the ocean in my territory just fishing.
                                                                                               you are, where you come from. To main-
                                                                                               tain those links and a strong family life for
 2. Who is your favourite sports team or athlete?
                                                                                               my wife, Nancy and I, and our two adult
 I can’t get enough of watching Pele play soccer. I just love it.
                                                                                               children who are both on the West Coast.
                                                                                               That is critical. So with that, in my view
 3. CFL or NFL football?
                                                                                               you can take on any level of challenge that
 No doubt it is the CFL. I have great memories of my dad taking us to Lions                    comes because it is always tempered with
 games. The NFL can’t compete. Now that I am in Ottawa, I try to watch teams                   that understanding that our people are
 other than the Lions or Canucks, but I just can’t. You can take the boy out of                the ones. I get to experience that first
 the West, but you can’t take the West out of the boy.                                         hand when you travel. Our people are the
                                                                                               ones who are suffering every single day.
 4. What is your greatest personal sporting moment?                                            That is what gets you up in the morning.
 Making it to the final selection for a Pacific Rim Football League team. Foot-                Sometimes it keeps you up at night. You
 ball to me means soccer. By far my favourite sport. And to make it to a point                 have to maintain that balance.
 where people would have been paying to watch me play, that was the ultimate.
                                                                                               EFN
 5. What is your best fishing story?                                                           How did growing up in the community of
 I have many and I used to commercial fish, but the best belongs to my grand-                  Ahousaht help you to be the leader you are
 father. He hunted and caught a blue whale the size of a gymnasium. In the                     today?
 prairies, many refer to education being the new buffalo. Where I am from, ed-                 Chief Atleo
 ucation is the new whale. My degree was my whale.                                             I think like a lot of our First Nations
                                                                                               Indigenous communities we learn about a
 6. What is your favourite TV show and why?                                                    sense of obligation and responsibility to
 I love food and I always wanted to be a chef and I would love to have my own                  your people and to your land early on. It
 restaurant. So the Food Network is my favourite and the Iron Chef is my                       was the same for me. My earliest memo-          great aunts and great uncles who took the
 favourite show.                                                                               ries were around five or six in between         time to teach me. That will remain my an-
                                                                                               playing with friends and fishing, and do-       chor. It is my home with a capital H and it
                                                                                               ing things that kids do, the old-timers         will always be my home.
 7.You did a break dance on The Hour with George Stroumboulopolis and here at
 the Winter Games. How would you top that if you were on Letterman?                            would stop me. They would stop others in
                                                                                               the village, too, and explain to us that        EFN
 That show is not really a break dance event. I would just pull out the native
                                                                                               when we got older we are going to have to       What has been the highlight of your term so
 humour and run with it.
                                                                                               be responsible for those mountains across       far?
                                                                                               the inlet, or we are going to have to take      Chief Atleo
 8. What is your favourite snack food?                                                                                                         Well, the highlight has been those mo-
 Herring eggs … by the bowlful. It is called kwukmis. We harvest them by                       care of our people one day. I think that is
                                                                                               a unique characteristic of traditional soci-    ments when you are sitting there with
 hanging hemlock boughs in the water. When the herring migrate, they drop                                                                      young people writing notes about the im-
 eggs and stick to the boughs. You take them out, put the eggs in boiling water                eties that have maintained those tradi-
                                                                                               tional teachings. It is not just about being    portance of their school, and talking
 and they come out crunchy and delicious. I can’t get enough of it.                                                                            about kids in elementary schools, or being
                                                                                               out for number one. I think growing up,
                                                                                               thankfully, of not having gone to the resi-     in a community where they don’t have a
 9. In your estimation, who is the greatest living politician?                                                                                 school. Where they say we need one, or we
                                                                                               dential school. That was my dad’s era.
 There are so many, but I have to go with Nelson Mandela. He led his people                                                                    are looking for a gym. The Olympics look
                                                                                               The leaders shut it down before I would
 out of Apartheid which is quite a feat.                                                                                                       a long ways off when you don’t have sim-
                                                                                               have gone. They saw the hurt and the im-
                                                                                               pact it was having. I grew up in an era         ple recreation facilities in your communi-
 10. Here is the cliché question for you Chief. If you were stranded on a desert island        that was dramatically, adversely and neg-       ties. Our grandmothers said, “Boy all I re-
 and could only keep one book, one movie and an album of music, what would you                 atively impacted by the residential             ally want is a stove. I just want to be able
 choose?                                                                                       schools. Make no mistake about it. I wit-       to cook a meal.” And so notwithstanding
 For a book, I would choose the one my dad wrote. It is called Tswalk and it                   nessed firsthand the violence, the suicides     the fact that we are reminded that we are
 contains the philosophy and stories of our people. I never tire of reading that.              amongst friends. I saw the homes go up in       making progress, it is those one on one
 For a movie, I have to go with I Heard the Owl Call My Name. I know it is not                 flames. People perishing in all manners of      conversations with the elders that are con-
 a blockbuster, but they filmed it in my community when I was in grade school,                 ways. Violent deaths etc. I think when you      cerned about their health. That is what
 so when I watch it, I see my friends and the old people in it. I still get ticked be-         come from any of our villages you can’t         drives us. We hear about the successes.
 cause my friend who sat beside me in school got to take the day off and work                  help but be touched by the fact that things     Those are inspirational. To be in commu-
 on the movie and he got paid 10 bucks. When it comes to music, I have to go                   aren’t the same for our people as they are      nities where they are generating their own
 with AC/DC Back in Black in case I need to rock out.                                          for the rest of the country. I was born into    revenues, and they are self financing lan-
                                                                                               a hereditary Chief seat and we can trace        guage immersion from K to four. Not be-
 Thanks for your time!                                                                         my lineage back twenty-six generations,         cause they are receiving any assistance,
 This was the most different interview I have ever done. Thanks for having me.                 and now it is going to be my kids turn to       but in spite of assistance. They are doing it
                                                                                               pick up the responsibilities. I think each      on their own. The expressions of resilience
                                                                                               generation is responsible for moving the        that I have personally observed that have
                                               EFN
                                                                                               bar forward. So growing up in Ahousaht,         continued to amaze and astound me. If I
Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn          As National Chief you are under a media mi-
                                                                                               that is my foundation. Nancy and I were         was to choose one on a very personal level
Atleo was named “A-in-chut” and seated         croscope, lots of travel, lots of pressure.
                                                                                               married in a traditional wedding, that          was the fact that my late grandmother
by his people as hereditary Chief of the       How do you balance all of that with being a
                                                                                               was, even in my dad’s day or even my            stayed up all night for me during the elec-
House of Glakishpiitl of the Ahousaht First    family man?
                                                                                               grandmother’s day, that didn’t happen           tion, that I got to spend so much time with
Nation in 1999. His political career has       Chief Atleo
                                                                                               because potlatch was made illegal. So we        her. She passed on about six months ago.
taken off and he was elected National Chief    Well you just shook hands with my wife
                                                                                               are experiencing a lot of firsts. In            It comes full circle back to your first ques-
in June of 2009. We had the pleasure of in-    of 24 years. We just celebrated our 24th
                                                                                               Ahousaht it is no different. My father was      tion. What is it all about? Well it is about
terviewing the National Chief in Saskatoon     wedding anniversary this weekend.
                                                                                               the first to graduate with a doctorate          family, and it is about the impacts that
to get his thoughts on residential schools,    Thanks not only to her but to the AFN
                                                                                               degree. Not only from my village or my          others have had or have attempted on our
Truth and Reconciliation and leadership.       team, they make sure we get home to our
                                                                                               tribal area, but people speculate that at       peoples lives. The fact that we are on the
Here are his thoughts in our final segment     houses, because obviously Ottawa is a
                                                                                               least in British Columbia. So growing up        comeback trail in a very powerful way.
of a three-part series. We also caught a bit   long way home from my home. Home
                                                                                               at home and having that as a cultural           There are obstacles, no question. The
about the personal side of the national        and family is foundational. It is the
                                                                                               foundation leaves me so thankful to have        resurgence is unmistakable and it is going
Chief. We at Eagle Feather News are grate-     essence of our work. It is about rebuilding
                                                                                               spent time with late grandparents, and          to keep growing at a grassroots level.
ful for the time that he afforded us.          not only nations, but inherent in that is re-
JUNE 2010                                                                Eagle Feather News - Sports                                                                   29

Whitecap to host Canadian Native

A
Fastball Championships in July
           world class golf course and a           Saskatoon Tribal Council Vice Chief
           beautiful casino make the Whitecap      Geraldine Arcand received an award from
           Dakota First Nation a destination       Tourism Saskatoon for their work on the
centre for people from around the world.           2010 First Nation Winter Games.
     Now that they have cornered the market             “We want this event to be the best ever,
for golfers and gamers, Whitecap Dakota and        just like the Winter Games,” said Mark
the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation are preparing          Arcand.
to welcome the best Native fastball players             “The fans can expect some of the top
from around Canada by hosting the 2010             pitchers in the country like Trevor Ethier,
Canadian Native Fastball Championships.            Darren Zack and Dustin Keshane. And we
     Dakota-Cree Sports Inc., a foundation         expect there will be all kinds of all-star teams
established to benefit youth from Muskeg           as well.”
Lake Cree Nation and Whitecap Dakota First              The tournament will be held at the
Nation, will host the Championships on the         Whitecap Dakota Sports ground, close to the
Whitecap Dakota First Nations new ball             golf course, the casino and the City of
diamonds on July 30, 31 and August 1.              Saskatoon.
     Since 1974 First Nation athletes from              “I know the community invested into
across Canada have been competing in the           their fields. They are world class with seating
Championships and the event attracts               and one with lights so it is great for the
approximately 5,000 athletes, coaches,             players and the fans,” added Arcand.
management and spectators.                              “With our experience from the Winter
     It is anticipated a total of 156 games will   Games, we know we have to be really
be played with 32 men’s teams, 32 ladies           prepared and the committee we have is
teams and 16 40+ teams.                            excellent and have everything covered.
                                                                                                    Amazing athletes like pitcher Dustin Keshane will be in attendance at the
     Mark Arcand is a member of the                     “We have many events for the competi- 2010 Native Canadian Fastball Championships in July and August at
committee and coordinating big sports events       tors and good times for the fans. We look Whitecap Dakota First Nation.                            (Photo John Lagimodiere)
is something he is good at. Arcand and             forward to being good hosts.”
30                                                                      Eagle Feather News - Sports                                                                        JUNE 2010


                                                                                            Saskatchewan a force at midget nationals
                                                                                                 Team Saskatchewan continued its                  “We have more players and more
                                                                                            domination of national midget hockey,            coaches so the systems seem to be
                                                                                            evidenced by the boys scoring gold and the       working.”
                                                                                            girls grabbing fourth at the National Aborig-         The girls’ team had a good showing
                                                                                            inal Hockey Championships in Ottawa.             considering the makeup of the team.
                                                                                                 In the nine years of the tournament, the         “We went with a real young team for
                                                                                            boys have won three bronze and five gold         the girls this year,” said Bear.
                                                                                            medals and the girls have won four bronze.            “And our two goalies were 14 years
                                                                                            This year the boys defeated Manitoba 8-1         old. In the bronze final against Ontario
                                                                                            in the final.                                    South, we were up against a team that had
                                                                                                 Courage Bear, general manager of the        university calibre players and one who had
                                                                                            teams, says the boys’ success was a result       played on the National Under 18 team. Our
                                                                                            of depth.                                        core of the team is good so next year we will
                                                                                                 “We had four really good lines, three       be right up there.”
                                                                                            lines that could score and one that brought           Besides team success, several players
                                                                                            lots of energy. Being able to roll those four    won individual honours. Justin Waskewich
                                                                                            lines over the seven games in seven days         was named MVP of the Tournament and
Men’s Division MVP Barry Sparvier (Cote Selects) receiving his award from                   gave us a definite advantage,” said Bear.        Bryce Gervais was named an All-Star
Reggie Leach and Oskana Cup committee representative Dawn Villeneuve.                            He also credits the success to a stronger   forward and Garret Kazmiruk was named
                                                               (Photo by Marmie Poitras)    grassroots program that has produced more        All-Star goalie.
                                                                                            kids at the elite midget level.

Another successful year for Oskana Cup
REGINA - The fifth annual Oskana Cup Reggie Leach Challenge showcased teams
from four provinces and very exciting playoff and final games for all divisions. The
Oskana Cup hosted 27 teams, 500 participants, three divisions and five out-of-province
teams.
      “It was good to see clubs from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario
represented at this year’s event, which is a testament to Reggie Leach’s commitment
to the community,” Milton Tootoosis, chair of the event, said.
     “The all-rez format with a few imports rule has proven once again to be the model
to use in order to develop the communities. It balances out the competition more and
detracts from a few teams stacking their teams with high-priced imports,” said Leach.
     Most of the semi-final and final games ended up as very close contests.
     This year’s event also reached a new milestone. The tournament was staged in
the brand new multi-million dollar Co-operator’s Centre at Evrazplace, formerly the
Regina Exhibition Park. The tournament staged its final day of elimination and play-
off rounds in the state of the art six rink facility.
     “The Co-operator’s Centre is likely the best tournament venue of its kind in Western
Canada,” said Tootoosis.
     “Moving the Oskana Cup in the beautiful facilities opens new doors for expansion
in the years to come” he added.
     Womens Div. Results: Champs: AMI Flames; Runner-up: Northern Thunder; 3rd:
Patuanak Ice Angels. All-star team awards: Top Defense: Samantha D’Jondire -
Patuanak Ice Angels; Top Forward: Tammy McKenzie - Northern Thunder; Top Goalie:
Bobby-Jo Zerr - AMI Flames; MVP: Karissa Swan - AMI Flames. Masters Div Results:
Champs: Kahk Red Bellies; Runner-up: Patuanak River Rats; 3rd: OCN.
     All-star team awards: Top Defense: Sam Taypotat - Kahk Red Bellies; Top
Forward: Darren Bignell – OCN; Top Goalie: Hector Burns - Kahk Red Bellies; MVP:
Emmet McArthur - Kahk Red Bellies. Men’s Rec Div Results: Champs: Cote Selects;
Runner-up: Patuanak Pats; 3rd: Cote Alliance; Player of the Game: Trent Campbell -
Patuanak Pats; All-star Team Awards: Top Defense: J.J. Cote - Cote Selects; Top
Forward: Mike Whirl - Cote Alliance; Top Goalie: Matt Fiddler - Cote Selects; MVP:
Barry Sparvier - Cote Selects.
     Proceeds from the event go to the O.S. Fund and aid young Aboriginal hockey
players. A formal dinner and announcements of this season’s O.S. Fund recipients
will be held in the fall of 2010.
     Visit “Oskana Minor Hockey Development Inc.” on Facebook.




    Cote Selects are the Men’s Division Champions. (Photo by Marmie Poitras)
JUNE 2010                                                                Eagle Feather News - Sports   31




The championship team at the Bridge City Shootout was Frosty’s, a compilation of
U of S Huskies and other former CIS players and had a formidable line up led by
CIS All-Star Michael Linklater.

Tanton helping to keep basketball alive in Saskatoon
     Mike Tanton is fresh off the challenge   flying exploits of the star.
of running the Bridge City Shoot Out                “He was showing off in warm-ups
basketball tournament and before any air      and everyone was scared to even try
can escape from the ball, he is busy coor-    against him. For toppers, he pulled a 6’6
dinating another basketball event for the     guy from the stands and had him hold a
city.                                         ball on his head.
     “The Shoot Out was good, but we had           “Justin then proceeded to jump over
some challenges,” said Tanton, busy           him, grab the ball, put it between his legs
preparing to bring in the touring Celebrity   and slam it. The guy has a 50 inch vertical
Streetball Legends to talk to youth and put   and it showed.”
on an exhibition game.                             Next up for Tanton is to bring in the
     “Basketball was starting to wane in      Streetball Legends to speak to youth and
popularity for a bit, but with Mike           play an exhibition game against all stars
Linklater and the Huskies winning             from the city including Mike Linklater
Nationals, we have seen a growth in           and some Huskies.
interest.”                                         “I expect Mike and the boys to give
     Linklater and several former and         them a good game. These Legends played
current Huskies won the Shoot Out over        in 57 reserves in the US last year and are
the Regina Cougars ex-players. In the         very entertaining,” said Tanton.
Ladies division, the result was the same           “We want to hook kids on basketball
as the women Huskies beat the Regina          because it is so affordable and good for
Cougars to win their end.                     you.
     The highlight of the tournament was           “Events like this connect the youth to
the slam dunk contest. “Justin Darlington     sport and give them other options, and
was amazing,” said Tanton about the high      besides, it should be a good show.”
32   Eagle Feather News - Sports   JUNE 2010