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Edward Keskatagan

Ivy Pewapisconias

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JUNE/JULY 1992      v21 n04 p18  
Edward Keskatagan with daughter Katie Poundmaker
Edward Keskatagan with
daughter Katie Poundmaker
1992 is a landmark year for many important reasons. 1992 marks the 500th anniversary of America's discovery of Columbus. This year commemorates its 125th birthday. On May 14th of 1992, Edward Keskatagan celebrated his 100th birthday at the Del Haven Lodge in Saskatoon. His birthday party was attended by relatives, lodge residents and staff with entertainment provided by a pow-wow dance troupe.

The following Friday, a feast and a round dance was held in Edward's honor at the Chief Little Pine School gymnasium. Edwards granddaughter Sheila Kennedy, picked him up at Del Haven Lodge on Friday to take him to Little Pine for the celebration. For Edward, this was a major excursion because he had not been out of the Saskatoon area for quite a few years. He insisted that Sheila drive around North Battleford, Sweetgrass and Cut Knife so that he could remember these places and compare them to the way that they used to be. In Cut Knife, he told Sheila to stop at a corner where there would be old men standing around visiting. Sure enough, the group of men were standing and visiting at the corner as Edward had predicted. Edward visited with the men for awhile and some of them did indeed remember him.

The leather beaded vest that he is wearing in the photograph is one of the gifts that were presented to him by the Chief and Council of the Little pine Band. (Incidently, Edwards's mother was the daughter of Chief Little Pine). Five generations of Edward's family helped him celebrate at his birthday feast and round dance. Edward reluctantly left the round dance at four o'clock in the morning for the journey back to Saskatoon. He was back at the Del Haven Lodge in time for breakfast at seven o'clock.

Edward remembers a trip to pick up rations in Saskatoon that he made with his father when he was 12 years old. The return trip took one month and was made with one team of oxen and one team of horses. He attended the Day School at Poundmaker for three years when he was around 15 years old. Shortly thereafter, Edward and other young men went to work up north in Carrot River at a lumber camp making railroad ties. They made $3.75 per day and worked six days a week. Edward worked at Carrot River for many years before returning to the Cut Knife area to farm.

In the 1960's, Edward lived and worked in the village of Paynton as a maintenance man until the 1970's when he retired in North Battleford. He moved to Saskatoon to live with his daughter Katie Poundmaker in 1981 up until August of 1991 when his request to live at an "old man's home" was finally met.

Edward Keskatagan has lived a long and healthy life. He hears well, wears glasses only for reading and uses a wheelchair only when he gets tired. He enjoys living at the Del Haven Lodge and rarely ventures out. When he does get homesick, he believes in putting his loneliness aside and thinking of tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Edward!