Op-ed: Some summer thoughts
- John Lagimodiere | July 30, 2017
Random thoughts from a person who has checked out for summer already and can’t put 800 common sense words together on one particular topic.
The good news
Wow, did we get a lot of submissions for our graduation photo contest. You met the lucky winners on the cover of this issue. Keegan & Skyler Ratt and their grandma Mildred Ratt received the most votes from our esteemed panel. Hard working young fellas honouring their ancestors is something to celebrate…great photo too. And the beautiful shots of Suraya Yuzicappi and Sidney Shacter were strong competition as well.
What was most impressive were the emails from the families nominating their graduates. The pride in their student’s accomplishments was universal across the province and was awesome to see. Check out our website for a photo gallery of all the submissions as well as a gallery from pro photographer Moe Morin who went to grads ranging from Reindeer Lake School all the way south to Ocean Man. Congratulations to all of the graduates and thanks to all the people who sent in photos for consideration.
The resignation of Commissioner Marylin Poitras from the National Inquiry on Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls does not bode well for the future of the Commission.
An abundance of red tape, bureaucracy and other machinations are driving people from the Inquiry with five key staffers walking out the door in the past few months. With the esteemed Poitras resigning, it leaves the Commission without a representative from the Métis community and from Saskatchewan.
With a poor communications strategy, the community has been left in the dark about anything the Inquiry has done and the confidence in the process and their ability to hit any timelines has run out. It has become apparent that this Inquiry needs a total reboot. They did it for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and that turned out all right. Do it sooner rather than later.
Roland Crowe’s work as a political leader and champion of the Treaty Land Entitlement settlement has changed the face of Saskatchewan for the better for First Nations and Saskatchewan citizens alike. His outstanding body of work will now see him invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province’s highest honour.
This former FSIN Chief accomplished much in his day and now offers sage advice as a Senator. His two biggest accomplishments were the historic 1992 Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement, resulting in the addition of 1.6 million acres to First Nations land base and a foundational agreement on gaming with the province resulting in the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority and 1,800 jobs, over 1,100 of which are First Nations people. Job well done!
The Métis community lost a heck of a leader in Bob McLeod who passed in June. Bob was the former President of CUMFI Métis Local #165. In his time there he laid strong governance foundations and partnerships that have led to the success that CUMFI is today. He was also the Area Director for Western Region 2A where again, he worked tirelessly to improve the governance of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and to strengthen the MN-S affiliates.
The Clarence Campeau Development Fund benefitted greatly from his guidance where he was board chair for several years. It is safe to say that many of the improvements in service and quality of life for Métis entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan and Métis citizens in Saskatoon can be attributed to Bob McLeod. Fittingly, several years ago CUMFI named one of their buildings after Bob so that his name and legacy will live on. Thanks for the hard work Bob.
Congrats Team Canada Creenation. Go TeamSask. And Go Summer Games Athletes
The Indigenous sports world is hopping this month. Athletes and cultural performers are returning from Edmonton at the completion of the World Indigenous Nations Games. From all reports, the Games were a life changing experience for everyone who attended. The event is more about competing and celebrating culture than winning (but believe me, everyone is trying to win). That’s cool. Check out the Shelley Mike photo gallery on our website for some great visuals.
And a big good luck and safe trip to TeamSask as they head out to NAIG for the Games that run July 16-23. Chef de Mission Mike Tanton tells us they have a great squad this year and should push for the top ranking again. These athletes are going to be competing in world class venues in Canada’s biggest city. How lucky.
And hey Regina, those First Nation Summer Games in early August are going to bring that city alive. Enjoy the competitions! Go Team!