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Youth Centre Instills Aboriginal Heritage: Paul Dojack Youth Centre

Eldon Henderson

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      WINTER 2002      v31 n01 p14  
Youth and guests celebrate There are currently three youth centers operating in the Province of Saskatchewan. The North Battleford Youth Centre, Saskatoon's Kilburn Hall and the Paul Dojack Youth Centre which are considered closed custody facilities. The Paul Dojack facility is the largest institution designed to house the majority of youth offenders.

Ongoing planning sessional meetings were conducted over several months by the Dojack organizing committee. This team consisted of two Regina police service, PDYC youth, staff and Elders and various community volunteer members. Their goal is to continue the growth of cultural activities into the youth facility. It was important to show the youth in the facility their heritage. The committee felt that the Aboriginal culture should be represented and reflected throughout some of the institution activities.

So on June 21, 2001 the Paul Dojack facility held it 3rd Annual National Aboriginal Day Celebrations. National Aboriginal Day is a perfect incentive to display a rich mixture of Metis and First Nation cultural components.

A pipe ceremony was held in the morning by Elder Mike Pinay from Treaty # 4. Shortly later there was a breakfast for the Elders and VIPs to begin their day.

Like most Aboriginal events a traditional feast was prepared with help by the PDYC kitchen staff. The menu list was served up with roast buffalo, soup, Saskatoon berries, bannock and various fruits. Everyone at the

Youth Centre Instills Aboriginal Heritage: Paul Dojack Youth Centre

Eldon Henderson

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      WINTER 2002      v31 n01 p18  

feast was grateful for receiving such a great and healthy lunch.

The Metis Grand Entry officially opened the day's program, followed by welcoming address statements by keynote speakers. Senator Theresa Stevenson (FSIN Rep), Ron Crowe (FHQ Rep), Karen Larocque (Sk Metis Nation), Hon. Harry Van Mulligan, Minister of Social Services, Hon. Lorne Nystrom (M.P.), RCMP (Rep), Regina Police Service, Department of Social Services, Saskatchewan Employee Union and PYDC.

The audience were well appreciative by the performance exhibited when the Metis singers and dancers began to strut their stuff.

Keith Pratt was glad to see the Elders of Treaty #4 be part of the process of gathering, celebrating and healing. Specifically, Elders Ivan and Sylvia Obey who were the pow-wow Elder advisors. As supervisor for Unit #5, Keith is also responsible for the cultural input and protocol for all Aboriginal special projects and events.

PDYC's pow-wow singing group participated in he First Nations Grand Entry to open the afternoon's program. "It was relatively a small pow-wow with singers, dancers of all ages and drum groups from nearby First Nation communities," said Rod Pudlo.

At the end of the day, the closing ceremonies marked another successful year of celebrating Canada's Aboriginal Day. "It was Kevin Missens that kept the agenda rolling in the right direction throughout this important gathering," said Rod Pudlo, who is the supervisor of Unit #4.

"Next year's event plans to be even larger with a regional coordinator to steer the PDYC volunteer committee. The new position will be geared towards a family gathering and showcasing more Metis and First Nation cultural events," said Keith Pratt.

Keith Pratt and Rod Pudlo would like to thank the following sponsors: Alliance Pipeline Limited, Collie Club, City of Regina, FHQ Tribal Council, FSIN, Heritage Canada, Catholic School Board, Regina Police Service, Regina Treaty Status Indian Services, Sask Energy, SaskTel, SGEU, SGI, SIGA and Trenken Dorm for their generous contributions and support.