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Ella Fox

Archie King

Ella Fox
Ella Fox is always ready
to assist people.

One family tradition of the Indian people, especially with the elder such as KOOKOOM, is that if the youngsters are without parents then it is the duty without regret to keep and raise the youngsters. Following this tradition, one woman has raised three of her grandchildren, one since he was three years old.

Ella Fox, 58, a member of the Sweetgrass Indian band, but residing in Battleford, has raised 14 of her own children and a number of her grandchildren with tender loving care. Today, she lives with three of her own children and looks after six of her grandchildren in a three-bedroom house.

During an interview, Fox recalled her early life living on the reserve, one filled with hardships and misery. Searching among the young men of marriageable age, her parents prearranged her marriage. Not wanting to go against the wishes of her parents, she reluctantly accepted the marriage arrangement. To her dismay, it was a life filled with hard work, hauling water and chopping wood.

Realizing that the arrangement was not working, Fox left with her kids. Filled with great determination, she moved to the city. Today with the modern conveniences available she says it sure beats the life of hauling water and chopping wood to look after her children. She took in sewing and doing laundry for other people to raise some money to feed and clothe her children.

According to Fox, she has lived in Battleford for a total of 15 years. She vowed never to touch the bottle and place her children first. Today, she hasn't drank but not without receiving spiritual guidance from the Indian elders and from reading the Great Book.

Rearing her children had its share of problems but the love she shared with the children made up the difference. Many of `her' children have returned for a visit not forgetting the love they shared together.

Noting the change in the younger generation, Fox says the teenagers today can be seen hitch-hiking on the road. Some of them as young as 12 or 13, why is that? In my young days we were taught to listen to the words of our elders, they talked to us. Today if you talk to the teenagers you get them mad, they turn around and do whatever they want to do.