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Chief Roy Bird: Citizen of the Year

Kenny Loon

Every year at the annual all Saskatchewan Chiefs Fall Conference, an award is presented to an individual who has made significant contribution to his/her community/band.

This year, Roy Bird, who has just completed his first term as Chief of the Montreal Lake Band, is the recipient of the 'Citizen of the Year' award.

Chief Roy Bird of Montreal Lake
Chief Roy Bird of Montreal Lake

In presenting the award, FSI 3rd vice-president Ron Albert stated that this year was the hardest to select a winner, "because all the nominees had outstanding track records".

Although Chief Bird may have been surprised, to receive the award, those who know him personally will agree that he is the appropriate choice.

Chief Bird's "track record" is quite impressive. Prior to his election as Chief of the Montreal Lake Band, he served as band councillor for four years - recreation director for two years - Band administrator for six years.

Despite his young age, Chief Roy Bird has many accomplishments. For instance, he was the driving force behind his band's construction of: a $2.5 million school under Vote 15. The first Indian band in Canada to do so.

Earlier this spring (1981) he was instrumental in forming a band-owned electrical company. Since its formation, the company has completed $250,000 worth of contracts.

Chief Bird is also co-ordinating the Band Development Corporation, which he formed. This past summer the company completed over $100,000 worth of contracts.

Chief Bird is very much involved in the Prince Albert Development Corporation. In fact, he is the president. The board of directors of this corporation is comprised of the P.A. district Chiefs.

The corporation recently purchased land in the city of Prince Albert to be used as the P.A. district Treaty Administration Centre.

After glancing over his 'track record' and his accomplishments, there is no question that Chief Roy Bird has made significant contributions not only to his band but to his community. He is the deserving winner of the Citizen of the Year award.

The Roy Bird success story doesn't end here. We will undoubtedly hear more of him in the coming years and we wish him continued success in his future endeavors.