Like the Saints that go marching in, the Red Cross has ‘marched’ her vibrant Red Cross banner right up into the 55 degrees latitude north to visit Hector Thiboutot Community School’s Culture camp — and during one of the coldest afternoons this winter season, no doubt.
Peter Ray, the school’s cultural advisor, led the Red Cross team (consisting of Elaine Caswell, Kelsi Prince, Spencer Moore and Scott McHenry) down well-ploughed snow roads into the 7.5 hectare camp. Spencer and Scott are former members of the very illustrious football club, ‘the Saskatchewan Roughriders’.
“(With this camp), we are trying to build a stronger focus on land-based education,” shared Peter, a self-avowed conservationist. He further shared that this camp has been seven years in the making with more potential for growth, provided that funds and sponsorship are available.
“Land-based education is about preserving the way of life,” Peter shared while regaling the visitors with childhood memories of snaring rabbits and lynx (which, as Peter shared, has ‘white meat’ like turkey).
The visit was rounded up nicely with a side trip to one of the oldest functioning hydro-electric dam in Canada, the Island Falls Hydroelectric Station currently run by SaskPower (incidentally one of the chief sponsors of the Culture Camp).
Peter also shared that the Camp might look into organizing medicine trails and some native wisdom like the Diamond Willow’s stomach soothing and anti-diabetic properties and usefulness of White Spruce in healing cuts and wounds.
“Peter, you are such a source of knowledge,” said Kelsi at the end of the visit, and her sentiment was unanimous.