FSIN Treaty hunters gift wild boar, elk to students for Christmas
- NC Raine | December 22, 2017
The spirit of giving is being fully embraced this holiday season as the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) continues their tradition of donating wild meat to students at the Saskatoon Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT).
“This is our way of encouraging and ensuring our students that they are valuable, that they are our next leaders,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.
“Every one of us have had struggles in some part of our lives. This is our way of giving back.”
At the SIIT campus on December 20th, Cameron, alongside SIIT President Riel Bellegarde, distributed wild boar and elk meat to students, encouraging them to “take extra” for their loved ones.
“Those of you who have never had the chance to eat traditional food, here is your opportunity,” Cameron told the students.
FSIN have been donating wild meat to students since 2014, when they partnered with Prince Albert Grand Council in Prince Albert. Since, they have expanded not only to Saskatoon, but North Battleford, Yorkton, and Regina.
Cameron understands the difference small acts of generosity like this can make on an individual.
“Your studies and success at SIIT, your family is depending on that, your children are depending on that so you can build a better quality of life for your children and grandchildren. That's what it's all about,” said Cameron.
“We'll do this until the day we die.”
A donation of nearly 400 pounds of wild meat was also gifted to the Lighthouse, a supported living shelter in Saskatoon. The donated boar and elk meat was hunted across treaty territory in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and processed in Marcelin, Saskatchewan. In total, FSIN donated over 2,000 pounds of wild meat to shelters and institutions across the province.
“We at FSIN have been focused on the implementation and exercising of our inherent treaty rights, which obviously hunting is a big part of,” he said.
Both students and SIIT officials expressed their gratitude to FSIN and Chief Cameron for their donation.
“It really helps, especially this time of year when you don't have a lot to spend,” said one student after collecting her wild meat. SIIT President Bellegarde the sentiment of thankfulness.
“Bobby feels very strong about supporting communities and giving back, talking about how this institute needs support,” said Bellegarde. “So we are very pleased with the support and generosity.”