Previous Article Next Article FNPI Search Home Previous Year Next Year Year List


Marieval Student Residence Is Serving A Tremendous Need

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1978      v08 n02 p56  
The residence is situated approximately 35 miles south east of Melville, Saskatchewan, in the Qu'Appelle valley, Located between Sakimay and Kakewistahaw reserves, it was built on the northern boundry of Cowessess reserve and named after the first chief, Cowessess meaning A little boy. At the time the Government took over the operation of residential schools, the name was officially changed to the Marieval Student Residence.

The Indian community has now become active in assisting in the operation of the Residence by organizing an Advisory Board. One cannot overlook it's value and is certainly a positive step in the educating of their children. The selection of the board members was from the five bands whose children the school caters to.

The inhabitants of the Cowessess reserve are mainly Saulteaux and Cree and number approximately one thousand and fifty. the 600 resident members are governed by the Counsel which consists of the chief and twelve councillors. The Band functions under section sixty-nine of the Indian Act and this gives them authority of handling their own administration. The office is located in the basement of the day school which is situated along the main grid road through the reserve. The office is staffed with a Band Administrator, Welfare Administrator and Secretary all under the supervision of the Chief and Councillors.

Marieval's Chief Child Care Worker is seen behind a group of children.
Marieval's Chief Child Care Worker is seen behind a group of his charges.
Looking over a pictorial history of Marieval is Morley Redwood, a child care worker.


Marieval Student Residence Is Serving A Tremendous Need

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1978      v08 n02 p57  
In the vicinity of the school is a co-operative store which serves people from the reserve as well as non-Indians living in the surrounding area. If this does not meet the requirements of the people they may choose to travel twenty miles south to the town of Broadview or twelve miles north to the village of Grayson. In the local co-op store there is a Post Office which receives mail twice a week, however this service is unsatisfactory to the Student Residence, so the mail is handled through Grayson which provides for better service. At this point we must make a note that sitting on the Board of Directors for the Co-op store are residents of the reserve as well as members of the Resident staff who have been elected for a period of two years.

The community is predominately catholic and is provided with religious services by the Roman Catholic church. Situated near the Residence, the church and hall caters to the community in a number of different ways. The pastor provides chaplin services to the students from the Residence and assists them whenever ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, etc. and the hall caters mainly to social functions and also meets some of the recreational needs of the community.

Tammy Alexson.
Tammy Alexson is seen displaying the modern sleeping quarters at Marieval Student Residence.
Displaying crafts
Displaying their craft work is, left to right , Denise Pelletier, Donna Pelletier, Debbie Alexson, Arlene Belanger and Penny Belanger.


Marieval Student Residence Is Serving A Tremendous Need

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1978      v08 n02 p58  
The school building opened it's doors in 1898 and since then has steadily improved in structure. The first theachers were the Sisters of our Lady, of the Missions but throughout the years have been replaced by lay teachers. A new school block was constructed in the late 1950's and provides the community with better educational facilities. There are nine full time teachers and three part time who cater to the educational requirements of the students. There are also two remedial classes, one class in Home Economics and one in carpentry. The classrooms are well equipped with audio-visual aids and includes such items as; an overhead projector, radios, televisions and a supply of films which assist the teacher greatly in their education instruction.

The Federal Government has provided the residence and school with five Crown owned dwellings which are presently occupied by teachers and other members of the staff. Some of the day schools on the surrounding reserves are still in operation and provide the much needed kindergarten classes for preschool children.

Mary and Thomas Kaye, Eldon Delorme, with Louis Whitman and Bob Desnomie.
Looking over the facilities during a recent open house is Mary and Thomas Kaye, Eldon Delorme, with Louis Whitman - Administrator and Bob Desnomie - Chief Child Care Worker.
The Kitchen staff
The kitchen staff are kept busy. In this photo from left to right is Viola Delorme, Pearl Delorme, Yvonne Kaye and Sister Reine Gosselin.

Boys playing in their day room
Here is a group of boys playing in their day room at Marieval Student Residence.


Marieval Student Residence Is Serving A Tremendous Need

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1978      v08 n02 p59  
The residence and school are not located near any village, town or city thus minor communication problems are encountered. The surrounding communities are provided with good grid roads and this does omit some of the problems. Basically the majority of problems are encountered when it comes to handling freight and seeking medical assistance. The people have to travel a fair distance to overcome these difficulties when they arise and transportation facilities are not the best. As previously stated, twenty miles to the south is the town of Broadview which provides the community with good railway service as this is the main line for the C.P.R. The telephone system is very inadequate as the school is part of a party line and does not permit the residence and school the privacy it should have.

The community's main source of livelihood is agriculture, some people are engaged in straight grain farming while others have reverted to mixed farming. Other community projects such as the erection of the rink (indoor) and the continued expansion of the recreational facilities at the Last Oak Park has provided constant employment for quite a few members of the band. Lately more Indian employees are being taken on at the residence and this no doubt is one of the main sources of employment in the community.

Joseph, Crawford and Eion Lonechild.
The pool table is kept quite busy by all groups both boys and girls. Making use of this facility is Joseph Lonechild, Crawford Lonechild and Eion Lonechild.
Tammy, Debbie and Shelly Alexson.
At their craft display is Tammy Alexson, Debbie Alexson and Shelly Alexson.

Darryl McArthur and Ronnie Ewenia.
Viewing arts and crafts display is Darryl McArthur and Ronnie Ewenia.


Marieval Student Residence Is Serving A Tremendous Need

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1978      v08 n02 p60  
The recreation program of the school involves many activities and helps the children to keep physically fit and in a happy state of mind. They participate in the more rigorous sports such as, hockey, baseball, fastball, soccer, basketball, volleyball continually. For the more relaxing types of recreation they have crafts, beadwork, movies, cards, swimming, etc. and also are provided with a variety of playground equipment. The reserve has a Recreation Director who co-ordinates different activities for both young and old alike, some of the following acitivities are most commonly engaged in are minor hockey and baseball, fastball, swimming, bingo, dances.

Communication at all levels has been a problem throughout the years when Indian people voiced their opinions in relation to the education of their children. Now that an Advisory Board of Indian parents assists in the operation of the residence and school, one must access that this is one of the major breakthroughs the government and Indian people have established in communication. There is no doubt that the selection of employees will play an important part as to how successful the school will be in educating our native children. All employees are educators, Child Care Workers, Teachers, etc. and we must understand the child, that is understanding the environment he comes from to the environment created in the residence and school. How can we educate ourselves before educating these children? What adjustment is necessary before leaving this closed surrounding and entering the ever changing environment of society?

Sister Candide Blaine with Tina & Lana Delorme
Another busy spot at Marieval is the sewing room with Sister Candide Blaine standing behind Tina Delorme and Lana Delorme.
Pow Wow dancing
These young people are seen Pow Wow dancing during one of their recreational programs at the Marieval Student Residence.


Marieval Student Residence Is Serving A Tremendous Need

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1978      v08 n02 p61  
Bob Desnomie, Wayne Lonechild, Eion Lonechild, and Ronnie Ewenin.
Proudly displaying Marieval's collection of trophies is
Bob Desnomie-Chief Child Care Worker, Wayne Lonechild, Eion Lonechild, and Ronnie Ewenin..
Group of children eagerly posing for camera.
Stoppng during a game of chinese checkers, these
young people are more than willing to pose for the camera.

Today the residence is filled with activity. There are about 50 children staying in the residence at present and their activities are wide ranging. A comprehensive craft program has been instituted by the Sisters and this has provided some of the young people with small amounts of spending money but most important it has provided them the skills of their ancestors. A number of displays are available for one to see and they have been well done.

The Sisters have kept glowing records of the Marieval Residence since the beginning both in picture form and the written work.

From all appearances the child care workers are attentive to the needs of the children. The meals at the residence are excellent and the facilities available to the children are a far cry from years gone by. Certainly Lloyd Brass in his recent story on the residence penned appropriate words.


Marieval Student Residence Is Serving A Tremendous Need

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1978      v08 n02 p62  
During The Saskatchewan Indians visit to the residence, we learned about their total program.

All the children at the residence appeared to be happy with all their activities. The one thing that was apparent was the fact that many of the children could get home on the weekends which makes for a better situation, since in many residences the children only get home during special holidays throughout the year.

Facilities at Marieval has been continually upgraded by the staff and board of directors. This has given the young people modern sleeping quarters, dining room and recreation areas.

Still, there is more needed. Even though there is a school next door with a number of modern facilities, the young people need even more facilities to keep up with the fast pace of growing up.

Enjoying the recreation room.
This group of young people are seen enjoying one of many games in the recreation room.
Sandra Lonethunder.
Sandra Lonethunder is seen leading a group of young people during their Pow Wow dancing at Marieval Student Residence.


Marieval Student Residence Is Serving A Tremendous Need

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY 1978      v08 n02 p63  
The thing that impressed me with Marieval was the home-type atmosphere. It appeared to be one big happy family. Oh! I am sure there are disputes and some conflicts that occur occasionally, but that is to be expected in any institutional setting. Each time that I have visited the residence that students have not been restricted in their activity and the staff have been most co-operative.

Sometimes a person can be fooled especially when the residence personnel knows a visitor is coming, but this is not the case at Marieval because I have dropped in unannounced a couple of times and everything was ship-shape.

In the future, there will be some changes made at Marieval. Changes that will further advance the usefulness of the residence and further enchance the instruction and growing up process of the youth that live there.

Future Architect.
Building can be as this young person is showing everybody. Marieval Student Residence does some building of their own by helping to build a sense of character and purpose for the young residence.
Playing games.
Marieval Student Residence has a good supply of games and activities for the children. Here this group of young people are seen making use of one of these many games supplied to them.