• P: 306-955-0762
Brenda Chartier
Executive Director
Buffalo Narrows Friendship Centre
Box 189, 500 Buffalo Street
Buffalo Narrows, SK. S0M 0J0
Phone: (306) 235-4633
 
 

 

“Buffalo Narrows Friendship Centre was able to go in conjunction with Birch Narrows Dene Nation Treaty #10 to host the campout in Clear Lake. Clear Lake was once a settlement of Metis and Dene people, which then relocated to Turnor Lake (B.R.D.N) and Buffalo Narrows. This pilgrimage as one may call it, takes place every year so that the elders that grew up there can go back and spend time reminiscing and telling the youth that take part how they lived and the hardships that they endured such as the hard-cold winters, lack of transportation, medical services and at times food to feed their families. But, as one elder stated “This was a time when people helped each other, they feed your families, no one was left hungry or to fend for themselves. Not like today people only think of themselves, they don’t even help their families out. People sell everything, even wild game, fish you name, its no longer given to the families freely”. This elder is from B.R.D.N and made this statement to the youth during storytelling, he used this statement to help the youth understand that it is better to help people in need then to leave them in dire need of help. This campout was successful in that we were able to bring together two cultures that are unique in their own way, but very similar in other aspects, from the colors of their beadwork to how they clean their wild game for meals and drying. The youth and elders were taken to the gravesite where mass was held, this is the most important part of the campout for the elders, because they get to visit the relatives that were laid  to  rest  there.  With  the  overall  total  of  people  that  took  part,  including  Birch  Narrows  there  was  sixty  people (Elders/Youth) that participated, with visitors coming each day from Buffalo Narrows and Birch Narrows, which up the numbers to at least 150. The youth from both cultures were taught that respect is the major component in being a health, positive adult and expire in what they want to become later in life, and that negativity towards each other does not have a part in anyone’s life. The youth and elders once again went their separate ways with a better understanding of each other, which brought on the  respect  and  self-understanding  that  is  so  needed  between  the  two  age  groups.  With  the  youth  having a  greater understanding that being Aboriginal is not something to be ashamed of, but to grasp their identity and be proud, because we are a distinctive people, the elders were taught that even as they grow old, the knowledge and training that they have is very important and has to be shared with the youth so that it does not pass away with them, this made them feel needed and gave them a different aspect tolife. Our elders are the most important component in the raising of children, they must take part in all aspects, so our children grow to be health, responsible adults and our elders are no longer pushed aside by society in general.” – Brenda Chartier, Executive Director

 

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