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Sports Leaders Honoured: Arthur Obey And Tony Cote

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY/MARCH 1980      v10 n2-3 p05  
Appreciation awards were made to both Tony Cote and Art Obey at the SIWA conference in Regina. A brief presentation was made by Lorna Arcand on behalf of the `First Canadians' ball team.

In her address, Mrs. Arcand said: "At a tournament in Saskatoon, we were matched up against teams from Six Nations (Canada's #1 Indian women's team); then Faust, the Alberta provincial champions. Unfortunately for us, we couldn't match the experience these teams displayed " She told the delegates that these were the team's first losses, that `The First Canadians' did what they could, and it just wasn't enough. She said practices would start again soon, and the team would be prepared for the type of competition they now know it will encounter.

She said: "On behalf of the players, I would like to thank Sadie Cote and the Saskatchewan Indian Women for this opportunity. Our thanks to Tony Cote and Art Obey for their help. Without you", she said, "Our team would and could never have survived our first troubled year.

"Special thanks for the many, many hours of personal time you spent with us. Thank you for the knowledge you shared with us. Thank you for never giving up on us. I know we all gave you good reason to. Thank you for understanding, the foolish and childish actions we displayed. Thank you for listening when we needed to talk to someone. Thank you for caring."

Following her brief address, Mrs. Arcand presented both Art Obey and Tony Cote with a plaque, in appreciation from the team.

At the close of her presentation, Lorna said of the two men: "I know I could give a history about these two men, but that would last...for hours...Art and Tony have left many, many marks of achievements behind them. Their promotion of Indian athletics has been invaluable to all of us."

Art Obey.
Mr. Obey began his schooling in Lebret at the Indian School in the early 1940's. Shortly after his education was received, Art turned to the profession which enabled him to show his talents best, that of child care worker, better known in those days, as Boys' Supervisor.

In those early years, Art worked effortlessly with his students and spent many hours developing his own leadership and athletic skills. Also during the early years of his employment, Art found the time to court and eventually marry the former Miss Yvonne Adams of Fort Qu'Appelle and thus began to raise his own family.

Slowly, Art began to display excellent leadership qualities and derive from his students the determination and drive to succeed at any of their future endeavours. His early introduction to the Cadet Movement and its values in developing young men as leaders was part of his task as an instructor in the movement.

Mr. Obey started to work with his students in a firm and convincing manner, in all aspects of a successful Residential Program. His method of applying discipline and communicating with his students implied a respect on the part of all students. Being an excellent athlete in the true sense of the word, Art attempted to pass on to his students the values of being a winner and the importance of also being a gracious loser. Participation was of the utmost importance and it was amazing to see this individual perform so many tasks with such little help.

His firm and silent approach began to earn the respect of his students, and also demanded good participation in the early development of sporting skills when necessary. He emphasised the basic skills in many sports such as hockey, basketball, baseball, track and field, football and placed emphasis on everyone's need to participate.

Sports Leaders Honoured: Arthur Obey And Tony Cote

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY/MARCH 1980      v10 n2-3 p06  

His untiring efforts in practicing sporting skills began to show results, as many of his students began to develop into excellent athletes, skilled in various sports. His patience, knowledge and dedication when working with young boys and young men was now going to pay dividends and give the "Lebret Indians" a name in the provincial sporting records. Who would in his right mind run his charges through workouts in 30 to 40 degrees below zero weather, of 90 to 100 degree heat in the summer? With the respect his athletes had for him and their dedication to be the best in their new developed skills, his charges practiced tirelessly and without care of the heat or cold.

Not only was character building, in relation to sports, receiving attention at Lebret, but also the development of high school graduates being prepared academically. With Art's direction and emphasis on success, many athletes also became successful students and eventually graduated from Lebret with grade twelve.

With the development of his young charges and the admission of new students in the high school program at Lebret Indian School, a new and first ever, power-house in provincial sport was on it's way. Under his direction as a Coach, Trainer or supporter, his teams were responsible for capturing many championships and bringing fame and respect to the Lebret Indian School.

The school, now noted for its graduates, was now on it's way to achieving fame from it's well coached and trained teams.

The following championships were won by teams he coached and the athletic skills he developed in his charges:

During these years Art found time to be on a championship team himself, by being a member of the Fort Qu'Appelle Sioux Indian Intermediate "C" Champions in 1956-57.

With these impressive credentials, Art has also been the recipient of the Tom Longboat medal for athletic achievement in Canada.

In the years from 1955 to 1960, under his tutelage the track and field club from the Lebret Indian High School was a dominant force in the local district meets and placed many top quality athletes on Provincial teams.

He is well known for his baseball exploits in Southern Saskatchewan and was a top notch pitcher for such clubs as Notre Dame of Wilcox, Fort Qu'Appelle and periodically the Lebret Indians.

He was also a strong supporter and coach of the Saskatchewan Indian Bantam Hockey Team that travelled to Europe a few years ago.

Presently, he still maintains an interest in the Lebret Indian School by sitting on the Board as an active member.

If we look around us and see the leaders of today that were once Art's students, we can then realize the value of this man as a person.


Lorna Arcand & Tony Cote
On behalf of 'The First Canadians' ball team
Lorna Arcand presents plaque to Tony Cote,
for his involvement with the team

- Tony Cote was educated at St. Philips Indian Residential School at Kamsack. Joined the Canadian Army for six years and saw action in the Korean war.

- returned home, married Sadie and worked for people in the Kamsack area for a number of years.

- moved to northern Alberta and him and his wife Sadie worked for ten years at the Catholic missions as Recreation Directors for Boys and Girls at residential schools.

- Came home to reserve and worked as Recreation Director started building and getting funds for recreational facilities on Cote Reserve.

- Elected Chief of Cote for period of 8 years and was successful in completing arena on reserve complete with artificial ice plant and incepting first Saskatchewan Indian Summer Games, 1st all Indian Junior B Hockey team who were league champs for two years. First all Indian Oldtimers Hockey team and was successful in taking them to participate in National tournies in Florida and St. Johns; New Brunswick, they took "E" Division Championship one year. Took all Indian girls fastball team to Fastball tourney in Bellingham Washington USA and were successful in making a showing. And this year still managed to take all Indian girls fastball team to participate in tournies in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

- So you can see Tony has always promoted sports and recreation for the Indian people of Saskatchewan.

- At present is Treasurer of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians.

Sadie Cote & Jim Dalgleish
Jim Dalgleish received award from the
Saskatchwan Indian Womens Association at their
confernce held in Regina. In Appreciaton for Assitance
rendered to SIWA, Sadie Cote, President SIWA, presented plaque