EDWARD BEAR



 
 
 

COMPENDIUM OF THE VILLAGE OF PUKATAWAGAN
Dear Reader:

Enclosed are briefing notes of Pukatawagan, Manitoba.  Prehistorical notes are minimal because of their oral data, which are passed on by the word of mouth, and many facts were lost through time.  Missinippi people did not write about their history, except through a few artifacts we find such as paintings and other pictographs.  I will tell you about the people prior to the arrival of European to Missinippi territory. Our written history originates from the early 1500s at the times of Henry Kelsey and Samuel Hearne who were adventurers. The River originates from the foothill is of the Rockies and empties into Hudsonís Bay in Manitoba. I will also tell you about the past history of the community, its leaders and its development into the present stage. Finally, I will summarize the paper and preside over possible pros and cons of the community's future.  However, the final judgment will be yours, as the reader. I can only write about facts and give my own personal opinion. The rest is up to you, the reader.  If you choose to disagree or not.

I invite you to read on!

Edward Bear, BGS Student
 
 


COMPENDIUM OF THE MATHIAS COLOMB INDIAN BAND # 311


The Reserve:

Pukatawagan meaning "fishing place" is situated about 819 Kilometers north from Winnipeg, Manitoba.  It is only accessible by rail line, air and by winter road.  The reserve is situated along the Churchill River or Missinippi meaning "large body of water." Missinippi is one of the last pristine body of freshwater witch originates from the foothills of Kihchiwatchya (Rockies) and empties into Kichikamek (Hudson Bay.)



Prehistory and History of the People and the Future

Prior to the inception of second peoples (European) to Missinippi territory, the peoples inhabiting the area were sovereign nations.They formed a confederacy of Missinippi Ettiniwak (people) also known as Assiniskaw Ettiniwak (People of the rocks) by Swampy Cree from the south and Chippoyanak (Dene) from the north.Chippoyan meaning "people of long hoods." Missinippi ruled the river with an iron clad agreements meaning that other tribes caught inside the river were executed without mercy. In 1670, the introduction of the far trade by King Charles I I of England granted Hudson Bay Company of adventurers a huge area of land called Ruperts Lands; the inception of the Dominion of Canada and finally the treaty era which originated in 1871, divided the once great tribes of northern Canada. According to oral stories told by the word of mouth, there were over 100,000 Missinippi people living along the great river during the be of contact.  In 1900's the tribesmen were almost decimated by new diseases such as small pox, flu and other communicable sicknesses. In 1940, according to Canadian historical data less than 10,000 Missinippi people lived along the river.

The Mathias Colomb Band was originally part of the Peter Ballantyne Band of Pelican Narrows in Saskatchewan. The first nation adhered to treaty # 6 as members of the James Roberts of Lac La Ronge on August 10, 1898.  In 1900, upon request from the people at Pelican Narrows, the Chief and Council of the James Roberts Band consented to the withdrawal from the James Roberts at of those people who were residing at Pelican Narrows, also known as Oppawikoschikanik meaning "fearing the narrows." In 1907, Pakitawakan people (Pukatawagan people) requested for separate annuity payments to be paid in Pakitawagan (Pukatawagan.) In 1910, the inspector of Indian Affairs recognized Pukatawagan as a separate reserve with Mathias Colomb as the first chief of the reserve.  In 1911, the Mathias Colomb Indian band was recognized by Ottawa.

In August 29, 1926, Ayamihi Sippi (Prayer River) was surveyed as a reserve belonging to Mathias Colomb Indian Band, over 18,000 acres of the 19,000 acre reserves is rock.  The Roman Catholic missionary selected the land because it was good place to erect a church.  Pakitawagan, the original fishing place of the people was also selected as one of the reserves.  Less than 6,000 acres was selected for the people by the advise of the Missionary.  The surveyor promised the people to return in 1930 to select other reserve lands in Pickerel Narrows (Granville Lake.)
 

The land surveyors did not return because in 1930, all of the natural resources including the rivers, lakes, and all animals were given to the three western provinces.  The chief and council of the nation told Canada that they had breached treaty #6, as according to terms of the treaty agreements, no one side of the parties (Indians and Canada) could in any way abrogate or diminish the meaning of the treaty without consulting with the other party.  According to local history, the tribes from Burntwood Lake(Wiposkayisakahikanink) never entered into any treaty, however, in 1913, were included as part of Mathias Colomb Indian Band.  Nakmikos, the chief headman of the Burntwood people was taken to England to Eve with the English, for one full year. Upon his return to Burntwood Lake.  He advised his people not to sign the treaty.  Namikos was the original chief who fathered Michel his son who had great magical powers.  Michel had his son, William Dumas and William had his son Pascal Dumas, father of Cecile Dumas Bighetty (mother of Pascall Bighetty) who was chief of Pukatawagan for over 16 years starting in 1974 until 1998.  Pascall Bighetty was elected chief of the band when he was 23 years old.

The first chief of the Band was Mathias Colomb.  He was selected as chief in 1911 until 1932 when he passed away.  Jerome Colomb was selected as chief, and was chief for only one year until 1932.  Jacob Ballantyne, was also chief one year between 1932-1933.  Solomon Colomb was selected as chief in 1933 until 1959, when the people requested for Indian Act Chief and Council elections.  The first Indian Act chief was Issac Linklater who was chief between 1959-1961. The next chief was Joe Bighetty who was chief between 1961-1964.  Followed by Cornelius Ballantyne who was chief  "between"  1964 - 1967.  Luke Dumas was chief from 1967 to 1970.  Dominique Hart from 1970 to 1971.  Gabriel Bighetty was chief from 1971 to 1974.  Pascall Bighetty from 1974-1978.  Mathias Sinclair, chief from 1978-1979.  Hy Colomb was chief from 1979 - 1982.  Pascall Bighetty resumed as chief between 1982-1986.  Frank Dumas, chief from 1986 to 1988.  Pascall Bighetty, chief  "between"  1988 - 1992.  Ralph Caribou, chief of the band from 1992-1996.  Pascall Bighetty, chief from 1996 - 1998 and Shirley Castel from 1998 to present.

In 1974, the reserve did not have sufficient hydropower and the community had a 15 AND power to for the school and the church.  Hudsonís Bay Company had their own diesel generator.  The people used wood stoves, no running water and lid their houses with coal oil lamps and home made lamps.  During the 1974, the community lived in termoil because the community did not have the ammenities of what the non-aboriginals had.  The Department of Indian Affairs by order of the Indian Treaties ordered all reserves in Canada as "Dry" reserve, meaning that booze was off limits inside the reserves.  People had to drink fast or drank outside the reserve.  Many people froze or drowned.  Indians in Canada were forbidden to enter pool halls and beverage rooms.  They were outcasts from their own homelands.  This was segregation at it highest; a human rights violation. White operated governments operated segregate systems among the Indians.  Missionaries were given the right to brainwash Indian children by way of segregative church operated schools.  In 1976, under Pascall Bighetty, opened the reserve to a "wet" reserve meaning that the Indains were allowed to bring in booze into the reserve.  The crime rate dropped from 10 to 5 in the first 10 years and has been declining.  During the 1970s, many people died as result of this segregative policy of Canada.  At one time, as many as 9 bodies were buried that one single day, due to acts of violence.  Chief Pascall Bighetty during an interview told me that his senior band councilor was killed and later his senior band constable was also killed.

He too was shot at and is still carrying 5 shotgun bullets in his forehead, as a reminder of the 1970s.  To counter violence.  He personally went to Ottawa to meet with the Minister of Indian Affairs, David Crombie and requested 300 houses, a hydro line from the Minister.  The Minister acknowledges the young chief and it was the beginning of massive housing development for the reserve.  Among other development.  The chief was able to negotiate for the first sewer, water and land hydropower to the reserve.  They also introduced economic development for the reserve.

I, forsee other problems that may effect the reserve and the people and that is the coming of the all weather road to Pukatawagan.  Unless the leaders establish sound and workable systems to protect the environment, the trees, fish, and the animals. This will be the second coming of the whiteman and according to past history.  Councillor Tumma Colomb said that:

"The whitemen will come once again.  This time he will take everything away from us.  If we allow him We must be prepared to stop him.  This land was created for us.  Young people go to school and leam how to use the tools of the whitemen."

This problem concurs with segregation.  How long can we live in isolation from the rest of the Canadian society. It is like booze, the sooner we introduce alcohol to our people; The sooner they will get used to liqour.  It is like a novelty, you get used to what is good.  In this case, when will we get to drive out into other towns without having to fear progress.  I will leave this matter up to the leaders.  I also hear rumor that the rail line will be closed in 14 months.  What will happen to the people then?  We need to dialogue with our leaders.  It will be us that will be affected.  I understand that the band-aid solution is the introduction of a rail liner.  What about an all weather road.  The Province can purchase the land from the Canadian National Railway, the owner of the land and use the existing rail line as our future all weather road.  This will cut down in the hours to The Pas to Flin Flon.  The Pas is only 100 miles away from Pukatawagan.  The train takes seven hours and by winter road, three hours.The standard time to travel 100 miles in an all weather road is one hour and a half. The all weather road will be a win-win situation for the fishermen and wild rice harvesters.  It will also allow people to bring in cheap groceries.  There are downfaults, such as the introduction of people, drugs and other hard drugs.  However, we will eventually have to face up the reality that we will have to face our problems, one day or another.  We will have to face them head-on and looking he other way is not part of the solution.  Fear is not the solution either.


Conclusion

Enclosed are my appendices of the community profile, infrastructure, population data, political profile, outstanding treaty land entitlement, community services and etc, . . . I would like to conclude that the reserve has a future.  It will be a struggle because of our financial constraint which will strap the next four chiefs.  It will take at least ten years to pay off the existing financial debt.  This paper is not an attack to the leadership or a praise to the past chiefs.

We have a new school which was negotiated by Chief Pascall Bighetty and his band councillors.  The House of Commons, under a Treasury Board Agreement allocated 21 million dollars for the project.  However, only 11 million was secured for the actual construction for this school.  The Department of Indian Affairs hired expensive enginners and lawyers to prepare for the first class estimates, until Chief Pascall secured the remaining dollars and hired a construction firm to start the construction.  If it was up to the Department of Indian Affairs, we would have a "mamaseee' (make-shift) school today.

After talking to past leadership and to the people who have learned about politics.  The bands that yell the loudest get projects.  Bands who protest and speak against the Department of Indian Affairs are the last to get their projects approved.  The chiefs and councils must have constructive criticisms. The bands had with debts are the bands the Department of Indian Affairs will single out and the chiefs and councillors know that the Department will pull their chains, when and if they decide to request for additional projects.  The bands with good sound financial records are also the bands that will not get their projects approved, as they are already ahead of the game. The Department of Indian Affairs is all but a political game, politicians play in order to secure votes.  The Minister of Indian Affairs that pulls down on Indians is the best Indian Affairs Minister.  A Minister is replaced when he shows progress.  Look at Dave Grombie.  He was a Minister that assisted Indian bands.  He was removed by the Prime Minister or Canada.  Look at Robert Nault, the worse Indian Affairs Minister in Canadian history next to the exisiting Prime Mnister who engineered the 1969 White Paper, is considered an icon for cutting the Assembly of First Nations funding.  The 1969 White Paper was to take away the special status of Indians and to bring into par with the rest of the Canadian society.  The Indians said "no." They have already given up over 9.9 million square miles of their land to the white people and they felt that their special status as the original peoples of this huge land was not for sale.  The six billion Indians get for education, health, social and other services is but a drop in the bucket for what they have already gave up to the immigrants.  Where on earth are people so willing to share their lands to immigrants, than first peoples of the western hemisphere.

The future of the Indian nation(s) including in Pukatawagan lie within our children.  We will have to educate them and as Councillor Tumrna Colomb said: We will teach them, how to use the tools of the whiteman.  We may not have Indians and Cowboys wars, but the wars will take place in the court rooms, where the Indians always lose, as the laws are not meant for Indian nations.  Look at history; most of the court cases in Indian lands were ruled in favor of the immigrants.  Look at New York, the Indians were killed driven off to build skv buildings.  Look at Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Regina, Sudbury, Saskatoon, and other major cities of Canada.  They were inhabited by Indians.  The Indians were driven away to make room for settlers, the treaties they signed, surrendred their sovereignty to the new peoples forever.

I can go on writing about my frustration.  However, I will stop here because the success of the Indian peoples will depend on each separate reserve in Canada like Pukatawagan.  I know that Pukatawagan will continue to progress which ever leader(s) we elect.  We will have eye openers, but that is the only way we will educate our children.  They will read about our past mistakes and they will learn from our mistakes.  I hope that you've read my briefing notes about Pukatawagan.  Thank You.


Appendix I

Population:

According to regional population of December 31, 1993, the band had an on-reserve population of 1,860 and 493 off-reserve residents or a total population of 2,355.
Today population is unknown, unable to get stats from our local government.

Reserve Size and Outstanding Treaty land Allowance:

The both reserve(s) in Prayer Indian and Pukatawagan has 29,015 acres and has an outstanding reserve land selections of 230,000 acres.
 

Band Government:

Ms. Shirley Castel is the present chief and the councillors are Brian Bighetty, Ralph Caribou, John G. Colomb, Moses Castel, Verna Colomb, Valerie Wyhte, Rachel Fontaine, Frank Dumas, Hanson Dumas and Jimmy Colomb.  They were elected in October 4, 2000 and the next election is scheduled in October 4, 2002,

Satellite Communities:

The nation has a reserve situated in Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan and the affiliated band is called the Whitewater Cree Nation: They have three other sub-organizations; Okaw Lake Cree Nation in Granville Lake, Manitoba and Kississing Lake Cree Nation in Sherridon, Manitoba.  The band has a reserve situated between Barrier Lake and Kississing Lake.  The other area the reserve has selected a reserve is in Bumtwood area and the people in Bumtwood are not organized.  They call themselves Wiposkaw Lake Cree Nation.

Political Affiliations:

The Assembly of First Nations, Ottawa, Ontario representing about 600 hundred reserves.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Winnipeg, Manitoba, representing 62 bands. (Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak representing 24 of the 62 bands.)

They are affiliated with a non-political organization.  The Swampy Cree Tribal Council from The Pas, Manitoba which represents seven bands situated around The Pas, Manitoba.


Appendix II

Community Services

In 1987, the John C. Linklater Memorial Center was constructed to hold The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Band office, a restaurant, a laundromant, a hotel, a convenience store, recreation booth, a post office.But due to contamination issues, the building was evacuted to due health issues presently the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation was temporarily moved to the Misinnipi construction location.  On January 7,.2002 . The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation band has renovated its band office temporarily at the new location at Capone Drive. The Present Chief and Council are currently negogiating for a new building with Indian affairs.

Fire Protection

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation has one Fire Chief and ten men volunteer fire fighting sqaud trained for basic fire fighting services with one fire truck that is properly eqiupped.

Police Services:

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation employs 5 local band constables which consists of one Chief of Police and four local constables. Surveillance of the community is done with the local police vechicle.  An RCMP detachment centre operates on an 24 hour basis with 5 police officers on duty. The RCMP have their own vechicles.

Local Justice Committee:

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation has established their very own Justice Committee to assist with the Provincial court on issues with their band membership.

Hydro :

Services are provided by land lines from the Laurie River Dam.

Postal Services:

Calm Air brings in the mail three times a week for pick up at the Northern Stores, this employs one band to deliver from the airport to the Northern Store.
 


Appendix III

Health  Services:

The Mathias Colomb Health Authority Inc, employees our local people and staffs four full time nurses, and contracts a doctor on a part time basis to service our band membership. The Mathias Colomb Health Authority has opened a full time dental office at our new school to service our children. The health department has eight vechicles, two quads, two snowmobiles, to meet the needs of the employees to service our community.

Cree Nation Child & Family Services:

The Agency staffed by Four Local Child & Family Services Workers, one on-call worker.  They work closely under the Porvincial Child & Family Services Act.

Social (welfare) Services:

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Social Services is operated from the Swampy Cree Tribal Council office in The Pas, Manitoba. Currently the Mathias Colomb Cree nation is under co-management Swanpy Cree Tribal Council are currently financing the social department.

Education:

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation ( Pukatawagan ) has its very own Education Authority Inc, the department sponsors our local students to continue outside the community and of course we have our newly built school that acccomodates 600 plus students locally. Presently, we have a BGS program offered locally by the Brandon University with  30 students enrolled on a full time basis.


Infrastructure


Appendix IV

Water Supply:

The community has water plant that chlorinates the water and piped to the homes and community facilities.  Also we have a few spetic system that are hook up on trailers.  A water truck delivers water to these units on regular basis.

Sewer System:

Most of the community are connected to the community sewage system.  Contracted ( private) sewer truck is utilized for a few structures outside the system.

Garbage Disposal:

Public Works employees two locals to garbage collection and provide a garbage Truck.
 

Roads:

The community is not accessible by all weather road. a gravel road connects the community to the train station and the airport.

Contamination Project:

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation are currently negotiated 8 units to be built before spring to prepare for the clean up around the houses close to the complex. This will happen in June 2002 according to Chief and Council, this is on going negotiations.

Transportation:

The community enjoys a seasonal winter road for three months.  A 3,000 foot airstrip is serviced by, Calm Air three times a week.  Also the Band owns their own airlines the transports its own members from Pukatawagan to The Pas on a regular basis.  The airline is known as Beaver Air Services Ltd.  There are also bus services and a local taxi business.

Employment:

The community employees through their public works department, Missinippi contruction, band office, Department of natural resources, Northern stores,and all other privatize businesses, lest we forget our local fisherman association.
We have Administrators, finance managers, accountants, social workers, and others.


Appendix V

Communication:

The community has has established their very own radio station which is known as Missinippi River Native Communication Incorporated. Also have Native Communication Incorprated through Thompson, Manitoba, lest we forget CBC radio. We have telephone access through Manitoba Telephone System. Internet access through the newly built School, also we have private satellite systems in place by homeowners such as: Bell Express Vu, Star Choice.

Stores:

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (Pukatawagan) has two local stores which is Northern Stores, and our very own local store known as Ackochikan Coop. We have private stores such as capone candy shop, and other private candy stores throughout the reserve.

Traditions:

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation has a traditional cultural grounds and hosts local pow wows to entertain the local people. Of course, we have Treaty days annually ever year with Indian Affairs.

Entertainment:

Our community celebrates with all local people in the Missinippi Summer Games and hosts talent nights, jigging competitions, other activities throughout the week. In the winter months the recreation supports Mens Hockey tournaments at our local arena, but due to lack of facilities we are unable to have social events, due to contamination issues.

Problems:

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation suffers Drug activitie within the reserve especially our local youth due to lack of receation programs. Alcohol is another factor for our youth is suffering due to the same reasons , due lack of resources. Housing is a major issues for homeless local people. Job creation for the local is a major issue for single people in the reserve.
 
 


MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY

 Tansi, my name is Edward Bear from Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan. I was raised by my  parents in my home community for a period of eighteen years of my life. At the age of twenty, I held my first job through the student employment program, and rented a room with my parents until I was twenty years old. Then finally, I decided to move to Calgary, Alberta for the next five years.

It was about 1990, when I moved to Pukatawagan, Manitoba where I found employment in various areas in the community. In April 1991, I stopped drinking and abusing drugs and today makes 11 years of sobriety for both my wife and me.

In October 17, 1998 I got married in The Pas, Manitoba.  I have no children but we have raised three boys and we are a happy family. I enjoy visiting with family and friends during my holidays, and on my spare time.  I spend my leisure time playing ice hockey in the community, and supporting youth in the public arena.


Part II  Autobiography 

On July 1995, I was on my way to The Pas, Manitoba by Beaver Air Services airline, when both engines on the aircraft stopped while we were flying about at about twelve thousand feet. Within twenty seconds we fell about three thousand feet, and finally the pilot managed to start the aircraft and we continued flying to our destination. Since, then I do not like flying at all.


Day 3   Journal # 3     January 9, 2002 ~ PBS Video
WHO NEEDS ENGLISH?

 In todayís modern society, all industries, companies, businesses in the  Canadian Government and all most countries communicate in fluent English throughout the world. Without the use of the English language it is very difficult for any business to service your needs. English is used about 80% percent throughout the world. The language is utilized at the United Nation Political table. A reporting version of  English is utilized by reports, sports analysis, news reports in newspapers such as Winnipeg Free Press, Toronto Star, and Calgary Herald. Throughout the world all countries communicate in English to generate peace talks with nations. Many nationalities lose their own language due to the great demand in English required in todayís society. For example, our aboriginal language is being lost in our reserve because our parents were taught fluent English in the residential schools.


Day  # 3  Journal 3.2   January 9, 2002
SANDWICH PARAGRAPH ASSIGNMENTS

 The other day I realized how much my pet dog meant to me when my dog saved a little boy after he fell into the water.  My dog is trained by professionals and it cost a few dollars to have this dog trained. Our family dog is utilized for security purposes and for the safety my family and me. Wherever our little boy goes the dog is right by his side to ensure his safety.  The family dog senses individuals that are there to steal and whenever he comes to our rescue sighs with relief.

 It reminds me of the time when I was staying at my grandmother's in  Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan. When I was a little boy my grandpa had taught me the basic life skills in the wilderness. One day we went out to set traps for wildlife. From this day on I realized how important it is for our grandparents to enjoy the wilderness as their livelihood. My grandma had fried moose meat and baked bannock out in the camp fire. I was so hungry I rushed back to camp which it was about three miles out. I  could taste the salty flavour of sweat as it dribbled down onto my lips as I got back to the camp from being tired from walking fast in the deep snow.


Day # 4 Journal :  January 10, 2002
AN ANIMAL THAT SUITS MY PERSONALITY

 Personally I feel that an eagle represents my personality. The reason for this is that I am individual who is always looking for new things to learn and observe. An eagle is bird that is always flying and observing and looking for its prey and also can provide direction of a better understanding of the way the wind is blowing. I feel that I am a person that will learn new things and accept new challenges in life. Also in most cases I am an individual who shares ideas with groups and a very open with public speaking and not afraid in others providing feedback. This gives me a better idea of learning of my weaknesses. I feel very confident in this program that I am enrolled since we have very talented group of students.


Day # 5   January 11, 2002
 A LETTER FROM A RELATIVE NO LONGER LIVING

 Tansi, My Grandson,

 Your grandma and I have been waiting for you to get off school so you can spend the summer with us at the camp during your summer break. We have your cousins coming down also for the summer, and they are excited for all our grandchildren to be here. Our plan it to take you berry picking with all of us together, see you soon.

 Ekosi,
 Grandpa.


 WEEK  2:   DAY  6  January 14, 2002
AN INCIDENT INVOLVING CONFLICT WITH NATURE 
RESCUE JOURNEY

 One cold winter morning on January 10, 2001, I was on my way to attend class in The Pas, Manitoba. It was about 4:30 am when I got out of bed, and traveled through the winter road and discovered a truck around the forth portage with four adults in the truck. The adults were already cold on their feet, and all they had for shelter was the truck. Today I am very grateful for assisting and recovering a possible disaster which would have claimed four innocent people in that early cold January  morning. As a result, I was late for class but the lives of the adults were more important than my school work that morning.


WEEK 2:  DAY 7  January 15, 2002
SOUTHERN GREENHORNS
One day in a northern sales outlet, a greenhorn was interested in purchasing a sled and this sled happened to be me. As he loaded me on to his pickup truck to travel through the winter road where he always enjoyed fishing. Upon arriving at this fishing area he unloaded me from his truck, hitched me with his snowmobile and started travelling north of the lake. All of sudden, he hit a slush spot and got stuck. This meant I was left out there for the night to freeze against the fresh cold slush at a temperature of minus 30 degrees.


WEEK 2: DAY  # 8 January 16, 2002
A SUSPENSEFUL EVENT IN MY LIFE

As bantam hockey player at the age of 13 years old, winning a tournament in Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan was a suspenseful event. This was my first tournament as a hockey player.  It was so exciting since winning an award for the best defense of the tournament was the most suspenseful event in my life. Most of the teammates were proud of my abilities and my parents were as proud as I was during the awards night.


Week # 2 Day 9 January 17, 2002
A NORTHERN JOURNEY INSPIRED BY THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VIDEO:
YUKON PASSAGE

 On December 1983, my class went out to one of the school camps located about 20 miles out of Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan It was here we spent ten days out in the wilderness experiencing the ways of traditions of commercial fishing and  trapping. Our teacher explained the plan and schedule that were in place prior to this trip. We were to set our fish nets out in the lake and since it was very cold we had to follow the way of survival of our grandfathers so many years ago. On the fifth day of this trip we encountered a  pack of twelve wolves out by our fish nets. We students were very frightened by the wolves but our teacher asked us to settle down and to remain calm. He shot his gun up in the air and the wolves made their way out very quickly. As a student this trip was very interesting and educating.


Week # 3 Day 12 January 22, 2002
BURIAL CEREMONIES THAT ARE
A PART OF OUR COMMUNITY'S TRADITIONS AND CULTURE

 The community supports one another when a family member passes away due to illnesses. The community holds wake services at our local drop-in center. Traditional smudges are brought in and local choir group sings. Traditional mass is held around the afternoon the very next day.


 Week # 3 Day 13 January 23, 2002   Wednesday
HUMAN CONFLICTS I HAVE WITNESSED

On January 15, 1981, a group of friends and I had gone out to watch a hockey game in Flin Flon, Manitoba The hockey game was over about 9:00 p.m. that evening. We fueled up at the gas bar, and made our way home to Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan. This is about a three hour ride from Flin Flon, Manitoba to our home community. Finally, we came across a road block just outside the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Reserve and noticed that a car has driven off a bridge. Apparently, The driver and his passengers were drinking and driving and all passengers had died on the scene of the accident.


Week # 3 Day 14 January 24, 2002
MY VIEWS AND TASTES HAVE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS

As a child growing up in Northern Saskatchewan in a community called Sandy  Bay, I was born and raised there for eighteen years of my life, until I moved to Calgary, Alberta. It was here that I got experience to be very independent. It was very difficult at first moving to a major city.  This particular move changed my life and gave me the chance to explore the demanding challenges in today's demanding real world.


Week # 3 Day 15 January 25, 2002 Journal
PROS AND CONS OF LEAVING PUKATAWAGAN FOR THE CITY

 In my personal opinion leaving Pukatawagan would be very challenging for some people who have not been away from the community. The reason I say this is because it would be very frustrating at first not knowing anybody in the city other than your immediate family. This means gaining experience in the real world in the fast paced and demanding society  live in today.


Week # 4 Journal  January 28, 2002
LIFE ON THE RESERVE 40 YEARS FROM NOW

Year 2042

In my personal opinion, Pukatawagan will be very technical 40 years from now. The eason I say this is that more education will be required to get a position with any organization. Our community will be much better in physical design throughout the reserve and our children will have a better place to live. Economic development will be much better and more opportunities will be available for our band members. An all-weather road will be in place and more people will  communicate with all the Missinippi people. Our local school will be very technical in computer literacy and much more.


Professor Hillman: please refer to Puk profile for other week four  assignments.
 
 


A COLORFUL ANCESTOR

The following information is the result of my personal interview with Mr. William Bear from Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan. Mr. Bear has worked for 40 years with the Saskatchewan Government as Assistant Supervisor for The Island Falls Hydro Station. He received numerous awards from the Saskatchewan officials in recognition of his well supervising at the station site. Mr. William Bear also served as Vice Chief for the White Water Cree Nation of Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan, which it is affiliated with the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation of Pukatawagan, Manitoba. Today, Mr. Bear enjoys spending time with all his grandchildren in Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan he retired from his duties on April 1998. Mr. Bear is also in the twenty- five-year member club in Regina, Saskatchewan for safety on his job site.


ADDITIONAL BIO INFORMATION
What are my three best characteristics?
1) Volunteering with youth activities in the Community.
2) Helping with traditional ceremonies.
3) Supporting youth in the Justice Committee.

My three worst?
1) Community members abusing alcohol & drugs.
2) Domestic violence in the community.
3) People not working together in the community.

What people have played a significant role in my life? Why?
My wife and family have supported me to what I do for the community and volunteering my services in the local justice committee.

My personal accomplishments:
Maintaining sobriety for eleven years and continuing to support youth in the community.
 
 


A PUK ACTIVITY

The activity I enjoy doing with all youth in the community is playing hockey and coaching the minor hockey. During the winter months many local teams plan out to have as many tournaments we can since we are playing in natural ice. The total number of teams we have locally is about 5 teams and it entertains the local people for those who like playing and watching hockey. This also gives our younger children to play the game and remain healthy with daily exercises at our local arena.


A REAL EVENT ASSOCIATED WITH PUK
In 1996, Chief Ralph Caribou of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation help stop Repap Manitoba Inc in destroying our traditional territory just of south of the Pukatawagan. This company had begun to cut down our forest and harvest for the Pulp mill located in The Pas, Manitoba. This area was a location was the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation had interest under the treaty land claim. Today the Provincial Government is still trying to issue the license to Tolko Inc to harvest on our traditional land. I think our local government has settled this matter with both provincial government and Tolko Inc.


HOCKEY GAME: PUKATAWAGAN ARENA
On February 2, 2002 a hockey game was played between the Pukatawagan Blades and The Pas ice-hogs. This game was very disappointing reason is that this hockey was very one-sided due the fact the local team had their very own referee to officiate the hockey game. In my personal opinion this game belong to The Pas, Manitoba and that we as a community must entertain communities that come to play in our local arena and try to accommodate them as best as possible.


OPINION
In my opinion establishing our very own tribal government is very important  I recommend having the federal government, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada release all funding directly to the band instead of Swampy Cree Tribal Council investing our own band dollars. The band can then provide support to all Satellite communities that are affiliated with the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation.
 
 


THE PAS TO PUK
When leaving The Pas, Manitoba follow highway 10 north and travel about 90 kilometers and will come across the Sherridon Junction that will take you right until Kilometers 37 another junction will lead to the kississing lake ice road this is about 27 kilometers down. Travelling through the ice road that will bring you right to the Pukatawagan Reserve.


A MEMORABLE PHOTOGRAPH

This is my son Robert Dumas he is eight years old and in Grade 3 here at Sakastew School . Robert has been in our care since he was four days old, and we enjoy having Robert around us to see him grow from childhood to a very young talented boy. Roberts parents are both band members of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation , the Mother is Gloria Dumas and the Father is Lazare Bighetty. My wife and I are very happy to have such a brillant son like Robert, and to give full support to him until he can be able to go on his own and to care of himself in the real world.
Independency is one thing I like to see Robert Dumas discover and use has a tool to the challenges he will face in the next 20 years.


LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Dear Editor,

The news release in regards to environmental issues regarding the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Reserve which is located about 890 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The issues with Manitoba Hydro and that first nation have been tabling outstanding compensation regarding contamination within the center location of the community that was mention in last weeks Winnipeg Sun is somewhat news to me since hydro has made no attempt to resolve this 30-year-old issue.

Sincerely,

Edward Bear,
Concerned Band Member
 
 


HOLIDAYS
The best part of my holidays is having family gatherings and friends to enjoy ourselves during the summer. We have family barbeques and play small poker with friends. Going out fishing in bloodstone is another family gathering where my bother in law enjoys cooking fresh pickerel right from the lake. We also have our uncle Williard who owns a sea doo that gives our children a ride during our fishing trips.We have a fairly large family that enjoys the great outdoors during the summer months. The thing I dislike during my holidays is the bad weather and all the mud we battle with just to go to the store or to walk to other friends' places.
 
 


A FAVOURITE MOVIE
My favourite movie would be platoon,  reason or this that it gives a lot of actions during the entire film. The actors in this movie are very popular in other eposides rather just in this movie, it also has very top notch action such as major explosion throughout the movie. Many stunts are played throughtout the movie and the amount of time it took to make this movie is very amazing. I feel this movie will remain my all time favourites.


PERSUASIVE LETTER TO A PEN PAL
Dear Pen Pal,

Hi my name is Edward Bear of Pukatawagan, Manitoba which is located about 819 Kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Pukatawagan reserve is a great reserve to live in because of its natural greatness in wildreness and great outdoors it has to offer. We have great tourism in commercial fishing and hunting.
The population is about 1800 on reserve and 450 off reserve, the community is very friendly and welcoming to all visitors that visit the reserve.

I'm that hoping your interest will be adventuring the Missinippi area known as the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation within the Swampy Cree Tribal Council.

Sincerely,

Edward Bear.


A CASE FOR PUK DEVELOPMENT

Hanson Dumas, Portfolio for Economic Development
Mathias Colomb Cree Nation
Pukatawagan, Manitoba
ROB-1GO

February 20, 2002

Re: Tourism

Dear Mr. Dumas:

I am presenting my proposal in regards to a tourism that would attract outside businesses and would benefit our local economy.

The purpose of this idea it would create jobs locally and bring in revenue at the local level, having a fly-in outpost in one of the great lakes we have surrounding the reserve is just one way to create economic prosperity with all band members and the local government. I would like a response at your earliest convenience.
 

Sincerely,
 

Edward Bear

c.c. Chief & Council


Edward Bear interviewing Ralph Caribou in the Puk Pit
edwardbearpuk@hotmail.com
 

PUKATAWAGAN CONTENTS