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This award is very special and significant because of the qualities that this individual must possess. Qualities that have been held in high esteem for generations.
This award was given at a round dance held at Whitefish Lake. No one was surprised at the selection of Mrs. Theresa Moosehunter as Mother of the Year for 1991 - no one except Mrs. Moosehunter.
Born Theresa Lavallee at Stony Lake, Mrs. Moosehunter is now 60, and has spent her life as a caregiver. She left Stony Lake at age 14, lived in little Red, and then in 1948 married Lloyd Moosehunter and has since made Sturgeon Lake her home. There she is recognized as an elder and sought after for wise and caring advice.
Mother of twelve children, ten of whom are still living, Mrs. Moosehunter devoted years of loving care-to her father, Antoine Lavallee, for ten years prior to his passing three years ago, and to her husband after he became blind in 1977.
Rather than regarding her large family as in any way a hardship, Mrs. Moosehunter credits her ability to stand strong through the ordeals of her life, including the loss of two children, to the support her remaining children have given her. Although only one son and two daughters remain living with Theresa and her husband, she is surrounded by family who live close by. Many of her 35 grandchildren visit on a regular basis.
Still active as janitor of the school on Sturgeon Lake Reserve, Mrs. Moosehunter has a reputation in her community as a giver, helping out at wakes, funerals, feasts and Sundances, deeply involved in the community. Not only does she give her time, but has also helped people in need.
Speaking Cree exclusively, Mrs. Moosehunter expressed her shock at receiving the award. A traditional Indian woman, she was raised to obey the teaching of the elders and has tried to teach her children to do the same. This is the advice that she would pass on to others.
Mrs. Moosehunter is a deserving addition to a group of women who exemplify the qualities of a mother in the Indian tradition. As Mother of the Year for 1991, she joins the following women who have been honoured previously:
Lydia Dreaver, Whitefish Lake
Mrs. Toots Belle, Chitek Lake
Christina LaPlante, Moosomin
Alvina Pahtaykan, Onion Lake
Annie Thomas, Saulteaux
Grace Bonaise, Little Pine
Louisa Tootoosis, Poundmaker
Georgina Thunderchild, Thunderchild
Elizabeth Pooyak, Sweetgrass
Annie Stone, Mosquito
Florence Bugler, Red Pheasant