Meet Saskatchewan's oldest Aboriginal people
- Jeanelle Mandes | June 16, 2014
Muskowekwan First Nation, born on the Gordon First Nation, Cyr (nee)
She always went by July 11th, 1911. They say she's older than 103; her brother says she'solder than that. Her husband, Joe Moise, passed away in 1975. She was born to Albert Cyr and Maude Bitternose Cyr from George Gordon First Nation. She had 13 children - there are 4 left. She lost four children in the epidemic years ago due to some bad flu. She has lost count of her grand-children and great-great grandchildren. Gardening is her favorite hobby. She used to live alone until she was 96. She hung her laundry outside and had her afternoon naps everyday when she lived alone. She is blind now but healthy. Although she lives in a home in Lestock, her children, Douglas and Marlene, visit her almost on a daily basis to feed her. Looking back on her life, Philomene used to be a seamstress at the residential school in her younger days. She's a caring person; she brought up two other families and she also brought up a lot of children: there was no foster care in those days. She basically lived from day to day but never gave up. She's a very strong person. She liked to laugh a lot and tease. She's very precious to her family and they are very protective of her. She brought up a lot kids. She worked hard, she did her laundry using a washboard. Her family holds her high on a pedestal, and she definitely motivates her family. She taught her kids how to be good housewives and mothers. She has lived through so many changes: the residential school system, the wagons to the vehicles.
Big River First Nation
Her birth date is January 1st, 1913. She's 102 years old. Her maiden name was Whitefish before she was married to her late husband, Thomas Weenonis, who passed away about 20 years ago. She had about 10 children: six generations in her family. She is fluent in her first language, Cree, and can understand a little bit of English. She and husband used to have a farm with three cows in Whitefish. She used to milk cows and make homemade butter. She also used to seed a garden and put everyone to work. All these years until today, she still uses a wood stove. She's been working all her life making moose and deer hide. Her hobbies were making crafts, moccasins, and making baskets; she also beaded jackets. She can still do beadwork on little moccasins. Her family says she is very healthy. She's taught her children and grandchildren the importance of working. She lives with alone and sometimes her grandchildren stay with her. She never worked for anyone else; she always worked on her own to make a living. Flora's children take turns helping their mother out with cooking and looking after her. A hard worker all her life, her family believes that is why she's healthy today. She still eats traditional foods like wild meat; she refuses to eat fast foods they have "nowadays." She is a very loving mother for her children and grandchildren. She treated all her children equal and her grandchildren.
English River First Nation
Sarazine was born in 1912 on the English River First Nations. Her birthday is on June 13th. She was married to, Frank, who died many years ago. Together, they had one child who also passed away at a young age. Her favorite hobbies were beading, making mitts and vests made out of moose hide and beaver hide. Sarazine has taught herself to learn a little English, she said in the residential school, they learned French. So she taught herself how to speak some English to understand others. Her family and friends celebrated Sarazine's 102nd birthday in English River with lunch, cake, storytelling, games and fiddle music on June 13th.