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Wayne Ahenakew, Director of Communications, presents the Citizen of the Year award to
Chief Hilliard McNabb at the annual conference held in Saskatoon.
SASKATOON - An Indian leader attending the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians (FSI) conference in this city, was awarded for his work amongst his people.
Chief Hillard McNabb of the Gordons Reserve was presented with the "Citizen of the Year" award by Wayne Ahenakew, Director of Communications. The award is given annually at the FSI conference to an individual who has excelled in working with Indian people. A selection committee is formed and anyone can be nominated for the award.
Not enough can be said of Chief McNabb, but a brief history was presented to over 360 people attending the banquet by Wayne Ahenakew.
Chief McNabb was born in 1916 and attended Gordon Student Residence for half days while the other part of the day was spent working.
the "Citizen of the Year" award during the annual conference.
He married Doris Anderson in 1936 and together raised six children including, Ivan, with the FSI, Melvin, head child care worker at the Gordon Student Residence, Irene Walter, a qualified teacher, Gloria Halman, an accountant, Herbie at home, and Barbara, a field worker for Touchwood Drop-In Centre.
Hillard farmed until 1948, when he entered the field of politics on the Indian scene. Known as one of the founders of the FSI, he was associated with other Indian leaders, Dave Knight, Walter Deiter, and Wilfred Bellegarde.
Closer to home, McNabb has been the Chief of Gordons Reserve for 13 years, noting that the last four years he has been elected by acclamation.
McNabb was the first of any Indian person to sit on the Human Rights Commission as its vice-chairman and was selected to sit on the Indian Government Commission. He conducts band meetings with off-reserve Indians living in Regina. He sits on the board for the Kinookiman Beach Association.
As an Indian leader, McNabb has been able to establish a pre-fab housing plant of which employs 30 band members, and is well on the way to constructing an arena complex which also employs five people and at the same time looks after band business on the reserve.
Chief McNabb, not known to be ever short of words, emotionally accepted the award, giving high praise to his family and people on the reserve. He praised the federation for leadership in providing the special moments in the struggle for his people.