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Profile - Wilfred Bear

Submitted by Robert Ahenakew

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JUNE 1981      v11 n06 p25  
Wilfred Bear Wilfred being honoured
On May 1st 1981, a special banquet was held in honor of Wilfred Bear. The banquet was held in commemoration of the 16 years of service that Mr. Bear contributed to Muskoday Reserve as a band administrator. I had the opportunity to interview many of the people that had attended the banquet. All of the people that had encountered Mr. Bear had nothing but great admiration for this man. Three of four women donated their own personal time to prepare the meal for the banquet. The ladies came from St. Leonard's.

Wilfred Bear was described to me by one of his close personal friends, as being the pillar of the community. Wilfred was very humble and did not expect to be recognized for the years of work he devoted to the band of Muskoday Reserve as a band administrator. In the year of 1955 he became a band counsellor. In 1966, he became the band administrator, and just retired on March 1981, after the 16 years of service.

Wilfred, besides being a band administrator, was a commissioner of oaths, a welfare administrator, and at one point in his life was bonded. Wilfred was also a consultant at one time. Wilfred was a very honest individual and a shining example of the community. Wilfred was a tremendous athlete in his younger years. He was in the army for a period of time. Was in the Regina Rifles, and was overseas in Germany during the Second World War, in the signal core.

The banquet was well-attended by the people from the reserve as well as people representing the provincial government and the federal government. Wilfred received many awards from the people. Some plaques from Indian Affairs, Muskoday band, as well as a plaque from Beaver Lumber from Prince Albert. Mr. George Vatamanick from Prince Albert Saskatchewan Power Corporation gave Wilfred a mounted duck, which he had prepared through taxidermy.

The reserve of Muskoday is completely self-administrated as far as land management and administration. Muskoday has all programs except education in their own control. It is people like Wilfred Bear who takes actual personal interest in their reserves that make the reserve of Muskoday, what it is today.

Wilfred may be retiring but he is going to be in a sort of semi retirement. It was my understanding that the band want Wilfred to still take active participation in the local band issues, in a consulting role. These are a few of the comments I received from the invited guests:

Chief David Knight - "He was a very efficient and always ready to give. Wilfred is a man who is irreplaceable among the band staff members. I wish him the best in his retirement.

George Vatamanick - Presented Wilfred with a mounted Mallard Drake. He said, "I worked with Wilfred for many years and have enjoyed the close working relationship with him. I wish him the best of luck in his retirement."

Wayne Temple - (Beaver Lumber Rep.) "On behalf of Beaver Lumber Co., I would like to extend our congratulations on a job well done; we are sure the band and council will miss Wilfred's very capable helping hand. We wish him every success and lots of happiness in his retirement. I hope you will find the time to stop in and visit."

Emile Venne - (Economic Development IAB) - "In 1969 Beardy's, One Arrow, John Smith, and James Smith formed the Saskatoon District, and that is when I first encountered Wilfred. He was working as the band administrator and I have enjoyed working with him since our first working encounter. It has been a pleasure working for and with him. I wish him all the best in his retirement." In closing, to you Wilfred, may the rest of your life be one of prosperity and good health to you and your family.

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