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Band-Owned Grocery Store Opened On Red Pheasant

Archie King

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JULY 1974      v04 n06 p05  
Red Pheasant - The grocery store on this reserve was officially opened recently by Dr. Cliff McIsaac, MP for Battleford-Kindersley, performing the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Red Pheasant Reserve is located 29 miles south of North Battleford.

Chief Gerald Wuttunee with band councillors, Pat Burglar, Ed Brabant, Peter Benson, and Larry Wuttunee were on hand to witness the joyous occasion. Other dignitaries in attendance at the official opening included Mr. Lorne Hanson, District Supervisor of Indian Affairs, North Battleford district and Chief Sol Mosquito, Mosquito Reserve. The warm sunny day attracted many of the local residents as well as many from the neighbouring reserve, Mosquito.

With the assistance of a financial loan from the local Credit Union and with the guarantee of the loan by the Department of Indian Affairs, the band started the business.

Supplies for the store are trucked in from MacDonald's Consolidated Ltd., wholesale grocers, fruit and tobacconists in North Battleford. The store at the present time carries only groceries but intends to expand into dry goods as business progresses.

With vast sums of money leaving the community, Chief Wuttunee stated that if the community had its own store, the money could be rotated and better service could be received.

The band store also operates a gas pump, serving its buses and many of the resident's vehicles. It is hoped that another gas pump could be added if all goes well.

The band store has three permanent employees, Darlene Reed as manager; Margaret Ducharme and Doris Wuttunee as clerks. Also the store has one part-time, Dale Wuttunee, who handles the gas pump.

Chief Wuttunee at the opening said, "We at Red Pheasant are all proud that such an occasion has taken place today. We, as Indian people, will have to start initiating projects and not wait for someone else do it for us."

Coffee and doughnuts were served at the opening followed by touring of the store. Featured at the opening were prizes consisting of various amounts of groceries throughout the day.

Red Pheasant Band Members in front of new band store
Dr. Cliff McIsaac (left), Chief Gerald Wuttunee, Councillors, Ed Brabant, Peter Benson, Pat Bugler, and Larry Wuttunee at the official opening of the Red Pheasant band store.
Inside of store
The inside of the store has shelves of merchandise as seen by the residents that visit the store for supplies.