The Past - Present - Future
Sol Sanderson, F.S.I. Communication Worker
JULY 1970 v01 n01
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indians is the oldest Provincial
Indian organization in Canada. It started back in the 1930's, but
due to the depression it phased out of active participation. Then
several splinter groups organized throughout the province. All
these splinter groups were known as the Qu'Appelle Valley Chiefs.
The Protective Association, The Queen Victoria Treaty Protective
Association and other bands later amalgamated to form the
Saskatchewan Union of Chiefs.
The Saskatchewan Union of Chiefs
existed from 1947 to 1957. In 1958 the name was changed from the
Saskatchewan Union of Chiefs to the Federation of Saskatchewan
As a provincial organization we are still experiencing
growing pains. "However a very solid foundation has been laid for
us by energetic and faithful Indian men and women who toiled long
hours for the cause. They realized the strength of speaking as one
voice for the protection of our Treaty Rights and achieving those
goals which we determine for ourselves.
The Federation of
Saskatchewan Indians started its first program in 1965 which was
known as the Communication Program. We are presently attempting to
expand this program from a staff of sixteen to thirteen. Again
just outlining the objectives of each program.
Chief David Ahenakew, 1st Vice-President -
Peter Dubois, 2nd Vice President - Ernest Tootoosis, 3rd
Vice-President - Gordon Tootoosis, Secretary - Cyrus Standing,
Treasurer - Henry Langan.
Objectives of the
- To protect the Indian Treaties and Treaty
- To promote the Welfare of the Indian of Saskatchewan.
foster progress in the economic development education and social
life of Indians.
- To cooperate with civil and religious
authorities in matters pertaining to Indian
Membership:The membership in the
organization consists of registered Treaty or non-Treaty Indians
who are residents of Saskatchewan. The members residing on
reserves are represented by the Band. The members residing off
reserves are represented by the Band Locals which are presently
known as the Urban Indian Associations.
Conference:To have representation at the annual
Conference the Band or Band Local (U.I.A.) may elect two delegates
for the first 400 band members or part there of and one member for
each additional 200 members in the band.
Executive:Staggered elections are held with three
elected each year.
PROGRAMS AND THE OBJECTIVES:
a) To keep the Indian
people fully informed in terms of "their rights as citizens of this
province and country and to instill an awareness in the Indian
people the nature and demands of the Modern Society.
b) To keep in tune with the Indian at the grass roots level in
terms of his needs his aspirations and his development.
c) To instill in the Indian a sense of hope and optimism regarding
his future as a Canadian.
Program:(Simply stated, our goal is as follows):
a) We wish to see our Indian people become completely involved in
the solution of problems and self management even though mistakes
will be made. We can learn from our mistakes if we are allowed to
b) Participation in self-help programs will through the
achievements and successes of the Indian people increase their
feelings of adequacy and responsibility and move them out from
their present state of frustration, dependence and hopelessness.
We too believe that full-fledged equal membership in a nation must
be earned. We need the opportunity to prove to ourselves and
others that we can earn it.
SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN COLLEGE
AND CULTURAL CENTRE:
a) To act as an instrument whereby Indians can become aware of
their history and culture as well as that of modern Canadian
culture and to use this knowledge toward their self-actualization
and personal fulfillment.
b) To improve and rejuvenate the present and future elite, on and
off the reserves so as to provide the enrichment of the local
cultures as described above and to radiate Indian Cultures in the
c) To provide the urban-bound Indian with the basic minimum skills
required to participate adequately in the Canadian society.
e) To promote the teaching of extension courses in distant
communities that can not take full advantage of programs offered at
the college site.
f) To act as a clearing house for information about and concerning
Indians in the province of Saskatchewan.
g) To provide assistance consultation and direction to all agencies
serving Indians in the province of Saskatchewan.
h) To collect, produce, and circulate all types of audio-visual
materials dealing with Indians and Indian problems.
i) To identify, promote, and support talented Indians in the arts.
j) To provide counselling services to Indians of all ages and
occupations in the cities and on reserves.
TASK FORCE ON
SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN EDUCATION:
Objectives of the
a) Determine the reasons for drop outs and age/grade retardation
amongst Indian students in Public High Schools, Technical and
Vocational schools, and the University.
b) Examine the present school programs with a view to enrich them
to suit needs of the Indian students.
c) Determine the scope and direction of the Indian Cultural Centre.
d) Examine the effects of past and proposed transfer of
jurisdiction from the Federal to the Provincial government in the
areas of Indian education with special reference to the policy of
e) Examine and study the present role and relationship of school
committees Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, and the Department
of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
f) Examine and study the present Indian Affairs Branch
administrative setup and policies to provide education services to
the Indian children of Saskatchewan with special reference to the
role of Student Residences.
g) Examine the rights of Indian people to receive the educational
services as guaranteed in the treaties and in the policies
of the Department affecting those rights.
There has been
no attempt on my part to explain the involvement of each program.
The justice each requires in terms of explanation can not be given
in this short article. However, if you watch "The Saskatchewan
Indian" there will be articles on each program presently in
existence, then over a period of time you may determine for
yourself what really is involved.
Speaking of involvement "the
success of the organization and its programs lies heavily upon your
shoulders as Indian people who will be affected by the programs.
The direction that each program takes will be determined by all of
us as Indian people.
In the words of Chief Louis Henry of
Ochapowace Reserve "We are starting small but at least we have
Federation of Saskatchewan Indians Senate:
The Senate is the advisory body to the
organization. They were honoured as "Honorary Chiefs of the
Federation of Saskatchewan Indians" at the 1969 Annual
In the words of the Senate:
Mr. John Gambler of Muscowpetung Reserve.
In reference to the young people becoming actively involved in the
"Where hope was fading the fruits of the work are beginning to blossom."
Mr. John Tootoosis of Poundmaker Reserve.
In reference to the organization.
"Sacrifices are many but the cause is great."
Mr. Angus Merasty of the Lac La Ronge Band.
"We may be advisors but we are a long ways from being dead."
Mr. Joe Dreaver of the Mistawsis Reserve.
"Education is not everything, experience helps too."
Mr. William Kingfisher of the Sturgeon Lake Reserve
"Your education allows you to express your desires better, but you can learn from our mistakes too."
Mr. Allan Ahenakew of the Sandy Lake Reserve.
In reference to the past and future of the organization.
"Be careful we know what has happened, ask us."
Mr. John Skeeboss of Poorman Reserve.
"I have followed the organization because I believed in it."
In the next issue watch for the history of each Senate member.
Assistant Chief Executive,