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A traditional pipe ceremony and dedication prayers by Elder Alex Semaganis and the Reverend Adam Cuthand was followed by a flag raising ceremony. Veterans Joe Antoine, Henry Beaudry, Jim Poundmaker Chief Lawrence Weenie, and Adam Cuthand were on hand to officially raise the Union Jack.
In his welcome address, Chief Weenie said that his dream of improved office facilities had been fulfilled. Planning for the project began last June with the actual construction of the addition to the existing offices and the extension of the health clinic began in September.
Dan Goodleaf, the Director General of Indian and Northern Affairs, presented Chief Weenie with a letter of commitment for $7,000, to buy new furniture for the band office.
Joanne Mayer, representing Health and Welfare Canada, presented Chief Weenie with a plaque. Both these government officials saw the crucial need for new facilities when they just about fell through the floor of the old band office.
Chief Weenie announced he will step down as Chief of the Poundmaker Band on May 25th of this year, Nomination Day. He cited his health as a major reason for retiring, and encouraged young hopefuls all the best in their campaigns.
During his four year term as Chief, Weenie saw the First Ministers' Conference, the passing of Bill C-31, a new school for the reserve and the Extension of the band office.
The band hosted a Round Dance and a disco in the evening to raise money for Poundmaker youth who will be on an International Soccer tour in Europe in July and part of August. The team is made up of players from Kinistin, Nut Lake, Mistawasis, Muskeg Lake, Beardy's, Little Pine, Red Pheasant, Sweetgrass and Poundmaker bands.
Wendal Antoine, Paul Favel, Vernon Antoine, Kimball Antoine and Thomas Baptiste are part of the 1987 Provincial Champion team who plan to go on this tour. They set up a booth outside the band office to sell raffle tickets and Nevada tickets to raise funds.
As well, the Poundmaker Band will be hosting a big Native Talent Show and dance on Friday, May 27 in North Battleford. It will be broadcast on CJNB. Come out and support our youth as they strive for international fame.