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The fsimc reporters participated in a photography workshop recently. The White Cap Sioux Indian Reserve in the early morning light was a photographer's paradise.
Spring was bursting forth in all its glory. The rolling, undulating hillsides were shedding their white wintry blankets to make way for spring's treasures. But the real treasures were the people we met.
"Don't take a picture of me. I'll break the camera," said Mansell White Cap. He was walking down the road, following a track into the bush to gather willows for basket-weaving when all these camera-laden females descended upon him.
Mansell and his brother, William weave baskets to sell, as well as making leather jackets. This art has been handed down from generation to generation on the reserve. Another family, Nick Bear and his sons, also weave baskets. Although they have a limited market in Saskatoon, the biggest obstacle preventing them from turning it into a lucrative business is moving the goods out into a market. They say that if they could find a market in a major city in Canada, they could probably turn a dollar.
The reserve is approximately 18 miles south of Saskatoon and is about seven miles across totalling 11 sections. Most of it is hayland. The band has never signed treaty, but receive all Indian Affairs and FSI programs entitled to treaty bands minus the $5 treaty payment. The small community carries most of its own programs, except welfare. Chief Elizabeth Royal and Councillors Wallace Eagle and William Buffalo are presently the headmen of this reserve, which as a population of 160.