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The FSIN Appoints Two Senators

Lorie-Ann LaRocque

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MAY 1992      v21 n03 p04  
On April 29,1992 during an Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations All Chiefs' Legislative Assembly, held at the Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium, two respected Elders were appointed to the FSIN Senate.

The new Elder statespeople are Simon Robillard of the Black Lake Indian Band and Alpha LaFond of the Muskeg Lake Indian Band. Each will serve the FSIN on an advisory level and partake in the socio-economic and political development of his and her community.

Born in 1928 in the Walda Lake Territories, Simon Robillard has made Black Lake Indian Reserve his home from "day two", said Band Manager John Thorassie. Simon, who is described as being energetic and outspoken, has been an vital businessman for a number of years operating his pool hall in the Black Lake Community.

He was also a Band Councillor for three terms and is respected by all in his home community for his tireless committment to band activities.

When asked what events led up to Simon's appointment to the Senate, John Thorassie remarked that Simon was simply "the best candidate". Yet, despite his extensive business and community involvement, Simon still finds time to enjoy the challenges of hunting and trapping. Presently, Simon continues to reside in Black Lake with his wife Teresa and keeps close contact with his eleven children.

FSIN Senators Simon Robillard and Alpha Lafond
Right: FSIN Senators
Simon Robillard and Alpha Lafond.
Since being elected to the Muskeg Lake Band Council in 1958, when she set a precedent as being the first female Band Councillor, there has been no tuming back for Alpha LaFond. Born in 1926 and raised at Muskeg Lake, the Cree woman remembers a time when her home community did not have the money or staff to run a Band office.

Yet despite the hardships, Lafond, who was educated at St Michael's Residential School in Duck Lake, stayed commited to protecting the rights of "her children, the band children and the children not born." said Lafond in a phone interview.

The Mother of five and Grandmother of seven, is a strong advocate of education.

During her twenty year run as Band Councillor, from 1972, she held the education portfolio and did her best to ensure that all were provided with the best education her community could offer.

Earlier this year, Lafond retired from her position as Band Councillor, due to illness, but her status as an Elder allows her to continue her involvement in the Band and with the Muskeg Lake School Authority. For Lafond, the Senate appointment is viewed as a "challenge" and she hopes that after the FSIN meeting in June, her future role as Senator will become more clear.

Each are congratulated on achieving the Senate Appointment.