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Thunderchild Honours Its Founding Chief

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MAY 1988      p07  
Lieutenant Governor Johnson and Chief Gordon Thunderchild Left- Lieutenant Governor Johnson and Chief Gordon Thunderchild

June 1 has been declared "Piyesiw Awasis Day" at the Thunderchild Reserve. The name, meaning "Thunderchild Day" was given to honour one of that reserves' great leaders.

In a day of celebrations, the late Chief's grandson, Ed Thunderchild unveiled a commemorative cairn and the current Chief Gordon Thunderchild declared the area a national historic site.

In his address to the gathering, the Reverend Archdeacon Adam Cuthand said, "We are here today to honour a man who in his lifetime did not accept Christianity, a man who gave us so many things in what he said." Reading from the Reverend Canon Ahenakew's writings, Cuthand quoted Chief Thunderchild who asked, "What is five dollars a head for this mighty land?"

"I believe in the Rain dance and the Sun dance."

"I have listened to the talk of the white man's clergy, and it is the same in principle as the talk of our Old Men, whose wisdom came not from books but from life and from God's earth." "Why has the white man no respect for the religion that was given to us, when we respect the faith of other nations?"

"I do not want to fight the white man's religion, I believe in freedom of worship and though I am not a Christian, I have never forgotten God. What is it that has helped me and will help my grandchildren but belief in God?"

Chief Gordon Thunderchild reiterated how the original Chief Thunderchild refused to sign Treaty for three years until 1879 when he signed adhesion at Sounding Lake in what is now Alberta.

FSIN Chief Roland Crowe congratulated the band and Lieutenant Governor Johnson brought greetings from the Queen.

Lt. Gov. Johnson, Ed Thunderchild, Gordon Thunderchild
Lieutenant Governor Johnson, Ed Thunderchild and Chief Gordon
Thunderchild dedicate a monument to the first Chief Thunderchild

Dan Goodleaf receives a gift
Dan Goodleaf receives a gift on behalf of the band