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SICC Celebrates Silver Anniversary

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      WINTER 1997      v27 n04 p15  
The Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre (SICC) recently celebrated a quarter century of dedication to preserving First Nations culture and heritage. To mark the occasion, SICC hosted a weekend of events to increase public awareness of their contributions to the community. The festivities began with an Aboriginal Youth Talent Show and continued with a corporate banquet, the SICC 25th Anniversary Traditional Powwow and the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres (FNCCEC) Annual General Meeting.

SICC Sponsors Charity Greyeyes
Mitch Daigneault Reception

Top Left: SICC Sponsors
Top Right: Charity Greyeyes placed 3rd
Bottom Right: SICC Banquet
Bottom Left: Mitch Daigneault winner of the talent show.

The Aboriginal Youth Talent Search was held on September 25 and featured Native American rapper Litefoot as the headline performer. Gordon Tootoosis served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Eleven semi-finalists competed, each performing two vocal selections.

Then, while judges decided the top three finalists of the group, Litefoot performed with Haida, the first female Native American rapper. Following their

SICC Celebrates Silver Anniversary

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      WINTER 1997      v27 n04 p16  
hour-long, high-energy performance, the finalists were announced.

Gordon Haywayhe-Favel Left: Gordon Haywahe-Favel
Honourable Mention talent show

Bottom: Master of Ceremonies for the
Talent Show Gordon Tootoosis, Actor

Gordon Tootoosis

In third place, winning $100 and a trophy, was Charity Greyeyes. The 22-year-old is from the Ahtahkakoop First Nation and plans to pursue a career in the music industry. Aaron Masuskapoe, a 25-year-old from the Ahtahkakoop First Nation finished in second place. Aaron is a songwriter and musician who sang his own, original songs. He won $250 and a trophy.

The top prize went to Mitch Daigneault, a 25-year-old from the Fishing Lake First Nation. As the first place finalist, Mitch won $500, a trophy and a recording contract with Right Tracks Recording Studio, valued at $4200. Following the announcement, Mitch gave a rousing encore performance.

The corporate banquet and art auction were held at the Centennial Auditorium on September 26. A number of distinguished guests assembled in the stiflingly warm auditorium to pay tribute to the SICC. Guests included Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Blaine Favel, Saskatchewan Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Berny Wiens, Saskatchewan's Lieutenant Governor the Honourable Jack Wiebe, Saskatchewan Indian Veterans Association Grand Chief Howard Anderson and SICC President Linda Pelly-Landrie.

Pelly-Landrie spoke of the history of the SICC, its commitment to excellence and the work yet to be done. She also mentioned the hesitancy organizers had in arranging an event of such magnitude saying they expected 60 table to sell. However, the extraordinary support from the community for the SICC resulted, she said, with 91 tables sold, quite exceeding their best expectations.

A silent auction was held over the course of the evening and five pieces of art were sold in a live auction. The highlight of the live event was not art, however. In the spirit of the evening, Grand Chief Fontaine was persuaded to donate his tie to the auction. Helen Semaganis claimed this trophy for $610 following a heated bidding war.

Event coordinator Janet Ahenakew calls the auction a success, saying it generated approximately $7,000 in gross revenues.

The SICC 25th Anniversary Traditional Powwow was the feature event of September 27. The powwow honoured past leaders and Elders who were critical in the evolution of the SICC. Mike Hotiene, Gordon Tootoosis and Jason Good Striker served as announcers for more than 300 dancers and 18 drum groups from across North America.

The weekend culminated with the election of a new National President of the FNCCEC. Delegates from 172 cultural centres from across the country attended the three-day general meeting.

In the end, Adrian Stimson of the Siksika First Nation was elected president over Doug Maracle of the Woodlands Cultural Centre. Linda Pelly-Landrie, the former president, did not seek re-election.

Highlights of the 25th Anniversary events are featured in a video production compiled by the SICC. The tape also includes an overview of the Centre's history, the services it provides and the direction planned for the future. Copies of this production are available from the Cultural Centre. For more information, call (306) 244-1146.