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Article: World War Two Period

World War Two did not really change the nomadic lifestyle of the Dene people. The men continued to trap and hunt for caribou and other big and small game animals as they did before. The Hudson's Bay Company continued to buy furs from the Dene people and the people used this money to purchase tobacco, sugar, flour, tea and other necessities for the long winter that they would be away. The Dene people continued to travel to Fond du Lac until the late 1930's for treaty day. Because the travel route was harsh and it was getting tiresome to make the trip each year, Stony Rapids became the second location for treaty day celebrations. Black Lake Saskatchewan was established in 1952 at the request of a local priest by the name of Father Porte who lived among the Dene people since he was a young man. He came over from France during the 1920's.

Pierre Laban was the first Chief in the Stony Rapids and Black Lake region. The late Senator, Louis Chicken became the second Chief in 1948, and remained in office until the early 1960's, he was the only Dene Chief who remained in Office for the longest time. It was Chief Louis Chicken who agreed to re-establish the people to Black Lake in 1952. Before this date, most of the people lived in Stony Lake, in the summer to fish. Stony Lake is a small hamlet located 2 miles from the main town of Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan on Lake Athabasca. The first school was erected there in 1948 for the Dene children, but four years later the people moved to Black Lake, which is located 15 miles from Stony Rapids, Sask. The argument behind this sudden move was that the Lake would provide accessible routes to the Barren lands where the caribou migrated every winter. The Lake was large enough to provide fish each summer when the people would return for treaty day in June and live there until the early fall.

" Perhaps it was due to the fact that we were so far away from where the second World War was taking place, The people hunted and trapped as they did before the news of the terrible change that was taking place in the far away land".

Dene people listened to the news on the radio at the Hudson's Bay posts or at the Indian Affairs offices in town. Patrick Robillard remembers when the first Hospital was built in 1940 in Stony Rapids. He was only 19 years of age when he was hired under the governance of the Corporate Commonwealth Federation, (CCF). It was some form of a relief program during World War Two. His wage was 35 cents an hour. The grid road was also built in 1950, from Stony Rapids to Black Lake.