Kawacatoose First Nation: band profile
with permission from
The Kawacatoose First Nation held its band government elections May 8, 1998 and re-elected Chief Richard Poorman for another two year term. The newly elected council is Dennis Dustyhorn, Clint Favel, Delmont Asapace, Dexter Asapace, Fred Poorman, Darren Poorman, Robert Favel, and Glen Worme.
Chief Richard Poorman has been chief since 1979, 19 years now, and was on the band council for six years prior to that. "Without the elders' guidance and encouragement, I would get very frustrated," he said in a recent interview.
According to Chief Poorman, "the elders mentioned the five dollars First Nations members receive every treaty day was to be revisited every five years." They would have adjusted the five dollars for inflation.
The Kawacatoose First Nations has 2,259 band members with about 1,200 living on the reserve situated 115 km north of Regina. It is a member of the Touchwood File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council, which represents 16 bands. Kawacatoose First Nation has a 80-head rotating herd of cattle and a Shell Station which create some on-reserve employment.
Kawacatoose Crees originally signed Treaty #4 in 1874 and recently established a Specific Claim settlement worth $3.2 million. The band is also in the process negotiating a deal with the Federal Government under the Treaty Land Entitlement Act.
The Kawacatoose First Nation education system needs a facelift according to Chief Poorman. Many (grades 1-6) students from Kawacatoose attend the Quinton School, which is off reserve. But some of the students must attend school in portable classrooms situated on reserve, which are hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The Band was promised a new school from INAC, but the project was postponed for two years by the department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND). Many of the people were disappointed.
Since there is an increase in population, many First Nation youths realize that it is either education, get a job or welfare. According to statistics, poverty leads to crime and the punishment is usually incarceration. In the 1997-98 season fifteen students will graduate from Grade 12 this year. The graduation will be held on June 4, 1998 at Kawacatoose First Nation. Special guest will include Ted Nolan (former NHL player).
As many other First Nations across Canada, Kawacatoose First Nation faces a housing shortage, with only 164 houses at present, and only the townhouses being serviced with water and natural gas. Other problems include a high unemployment rate, a high incarceration rate and alcohol and drug problems among the youth.
Recent development has added a hockey arena, built in 1996, which houses three recreational hockey teams. The Band also has three ball diamonds for youth activities. A sports and recreation director is also now in place. Chief Poorman agrees that we need to keep the youth active in many sporting activities as possible, or travel, this will keep the individual pre-occupied.
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