Alvin Head

Serving the community a lifetime commitment

Reprinted with permission from
Saskatchewan Sage - March 1997 - pg. 7

There are basically three types of people: those who watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who don't know what happens.

This motto has been an inspiration to Alvin Walter Head, because he is definately the kind of person who makes things happen.

Head was named the Citizen of the Year by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and presented with an award at the winter session of the legislative assembly of chiefs held in Regina on Feb. 26 and 27.

Alvin Walter Head
Citizen of the Year
Alvin Walter Head

Head is a member of the Red Earth First Nation and was nominated for the award by Chief Roy Bird of Montreal Lake First Nation.

Head has spent a lifetime in service to his community and Indian government.

Born Jan. 3, 1950, Head was hired in 1970 as a clerk for Red Earth Timber Mutual, a locally-operated sawmill. From 1971 to 1976, he held a variety of positions within the administrative operations of the First Nation Main Office, but in the latter part of this period was promoted to senior management positions, including welfare administrator and band administrator.

Head is nothing if not persistent and, after two failed bids for office, was elected Chief of the Red Earth First Nation. This was the beginning of a remarkable stretch of successive terms of office as chief. He remained in the position for a total of 12 years, acclaimed to the post in each election.

Head entered the provincial political arena in 1986 and successfuly ran for the position of treasurer with the executive of the FSIN. After his three-year term, he returned to his home to work as Red Earth's director of education.

Head attended Bible college in Saskatoon for one year following his tenure as director of education before enrolling in the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College to pursue his ambition to enter the legal profession. Unfortunately, during his third year of study, he had to withdraw because of illness.

Head has struggled with his long-term affliction with diabetes, which has left him with a collapsed lung, kidney failure and partially blind.

"While these diseases suggest a weakness in the body, my spirit is still very strong," Head maintains.

Head currently serves as pastor of the Red Eath Crossroad Gospel Ministries, manages his own taxi business and is pursuing other business ventures. He has played a pivotal role in many major developments on his reserve, including upgrading to the main road and construction of sturdier bridges, the construction of the First Nation Office Complex, a community hall, and the implementation of First Nation controlled education.

Head told the chiefs and their assorted advisors and assistants gathered at the assembly that his people had been good for him and, in return, he had been good for his people.

"Stand up for what you believe in, for your people," he advised.

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