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The Senator Hilliard McNab CM Memorial Foundation and Scholarship Fund was officially launched at a banquet held Friday September 27, 1991 at the Gordon Arena.
Keynote speaker was Treaty Commissioner Cliff Wright. Other head table guests included Chief and Mrs. Wayne Morris, FSIN Chief Roland Crowe, Mr. William Pillipow, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon McMurchy, Mr. Keith Goulet MLA, Judge Tillie Taylor, FSIN Senator Ernie Mike and Mrs. Flora Mike, Ron Crowe, TFHQ Tribal Council Assistant Representative, Mr. and Mrs. Gabe Crowe-Buffalo and MC Ivan McNab and Mrs. Clare McNab.
Words of welcome by Barbara Bitternose, Hilliard's youngest daughter, and grace said by Mr. Gabe CroweBuffalo, began the evening. Following the dinner, entertainment alternated with speeches.
Mr. Gordon McMurchy recalled his travels with Hilliard and their shared interests in sports, politics and education. He quoted Hilliard as saying, "the key to the future of our people is education" and stressed that by that Hilliard didn't mean exclusively Indian people, but that non-Indians also needed education to eliminate racism.
Chief Roland Crowe spoke of how many of the goals which Hilliard McNab set have been achieved, and described Hilliard as having "a willingness not to succeed alone." Those listening and familiar with Hilliard's humble lifestyle recognized this trait of wishing to bring all the people along together.
Mr. William Pillipow described Hilliard as his mentor, and said that Hilliard described life on this continent as follows: After thousands of years of Indian history, the white man came, and the Indian welcomed him with an open hand. The Indian thought of life in terms of sharing, and in this case, of sharing the highway of life with the white man.
However, through ignorance of the Indian way and misunderstandings, the two are no longer sharing a highway, and the open hand of the Indian is closing.
Mr. Pillipow spoke of the dreams of the Board of the Scholarship Fund to see it expand and possibly fund a chair for Treaty Research at a Provincial university.
Mr. Cliff Wright began his talk in a humorous vein, relating the circumstances of his first meeting with Chief Hilliard McNab, when Hilliard served on the Provincial Human Rights Commission, and Mr. Wright was Mayor of Saskatoon and Police Commissioner.
Because the husband of Judge Tillie Taylor, Human Rights Chairperson, was a Saskatoon alderman, Taylor had to step aside dispute regarding the Commission, which left Mr. Wright facing Hilliard Mcnab. Happily, the matter resolved.
Mr. Wright continued
that the most important issue in this country is the development of and participation in a good education system for everyone. It is a delusion to believe that everyone participates in the present system. The days when Canada could be a wealthy country because of her resources are over. This is the information age, and now it is necessary to develop the supreme resource: the human mind. Mr. Wright expressed the feeling that no other sort of memorial could have pleased Hilliard more than this scholarship fund in his name.
Entertainment was provided by the Bitternose Jiggers: Evelyn, Lisa and Joshua Bitternose, and Erin Bitternose, and by vocals from Mrs. Flora Mike, Sylvia Nagy, Ivan McNab and Herb McNab. Door prizes were won as follows: Authentic James Bay snowshoes donated by Melvin McNab were won by Leona Kinequon; starblanket donated by Herb McNab won by Rose Blind; and a drawing in a limited series by John D. Walter won by Brian Nagy.
Presentations to the Scholarship Fund were accepted on behalf of the Board by Mr. William Pillipow, and led off by Chief Wayne Moms presenting a cheque on behalf of the Gordon Band.
Other cheques and pledges were presented by Ron Crowe on behalf of Touchwood File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council, Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre, Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, and himself. TFHQ Tribal Council Representative Perry Bellegarde made presentations on behalf of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies and himself. A further donation was made by the Touchwood Drop-In Centre, and by Mr. William Pillipow.
Organizers and Board Members were extremely pleased with the turnout and support, and the hard work done by members of the community in preparing for this event.