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Waweyeykisik (Roundsky) Educational Center Opens

G. Ledoux

Opening ceremonies were held at the Waweyekisik Education Center Tuesday, November 23 in the Waterhen Reserve school gymnasium.

Local drummers doing an honour song opened the program as invited guests, visitors and dignitaries made a grand entry into the gymnasium. It was followed by a pipe ceremony.

Master of Ceremonies, Edward Martell gave a brief introduction of the program, followed by the childrens choir singing "Oh Canada", first in Cree then in English.

In his welcoming address, Chief Fred Martell introduced several Elders in attendance, visiting Chiefs, school board members, school committee chairman, Albert Fiddler, Councillors and director of Education, Charlie Fiddler. Chief Fiddler had the honour of introducing Deputy Minister, Mr. Harry Swain, who performed the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Waweyekisik Educational Center is named in memory of a renowned band councillor. Presentations were made by Gail Bear on behalf of the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Center with a painting done by Lee Bruce of the Ochapowace Band. Vice-Chief Dutch Lerat on behalf of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations presented the Band with a flag and a plaque.

The history of the Waweyekisisk Program was introduced by the director of Education, Charles Fiddler. He noted that a trip to Regina by air for the tender opening resulted in a forced landing at the Saskatoon airport.

Renovations and extension to the existing school will accommodate kindergarten, storage, a science classroom, and provide accommodation for wheelchairs. Phase two includes the administration unit, staff room, two elementary classrooms, secondary classrooms for home economics and industrial arts, and the gymnasium which is nearing completion.

Special guest speaker, Dr. Cecil King from the University of Saskatchewan, Department of Education said an opening prayer in the Ojibway tongue, "My words as a medicine to you all". Dr. King commended the Chief and Council for their efforts towards the education of their children.

The girls choir sang "Flying Free" and in a traditional fashion, Albert Fiddler presented the attending Elder and pipe holder with a gift.

Mr. Swain, Deputy Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, cuts ribbon to officially open school
Mr. Swain, Deputy Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, cuts ribbon to officially open school

Wawayekisak Education Centre
Wawayekisak Education Center