By Alison Squires
It took Sheryl Kayseas two months and with the help of the recreation committee and a handful of volunteers, the first Fishing Lake First Nation (FLFN) Winter Fest was held over the February school break.
At the urging of an FLFN member who pointed out there were no activities for children during the school break, Kayseas and her crew designed a week full of activities for young and old alike. Percy Severight Memorial Hall in Kylemore buzzed with activity featuring everything from breakfast and games to movie night, bingo, archery, snowmobile and sleigh rides. There were egg races, sack races, pillow fights and a wiener roast, a cribbage and kaiser tournament, ice fishing, tug-o-war and a barbecue.
“I would like to thank the volunteers for working so hard to put on this event,” Chief Allan Paquachan told the News. “Without them this event would not be possible.”
While watching bingo, Councillor Ron Smoke explained that the numbers were being called out in Saulteaux as a bit of a twist and to help teach the traditional language. He pointed out the translator in several groups and, surprisingly, not all the translators were elders as one might expect; many of them were quite young. He laughed and said that participants were encouraged to yell BINGO! in Saulteaux but as one just happened to yell it out in English, he said it just didn’t always turn out that way.
Either way, it appeared the players were having fun just the same, as some had amassed a pile of prizes.
Really popular with the youngsters was the archery corner manned by Terence Sabit. Some as young as four tried to hit the moose, deer and fox targets set up along the back wall. Sabit then diligently marked each, keeping score, then called up the next two competitors. The adults were able to have their shot once the children’s session was done.
If you didn’t fancy archery, a sleigh ride or snowmobile ride was available or one could just settle down in the corner room for the movie.
By all accounts, FLFN’s Winter Fest was a big hit.
“It’s the volunteers that help make a good community,” said Councillor Smoke as he surveyed the room. He said the entire week was full of activities, commenting on the high rate of participation from the members. “We are even having a hangover soup/bannock contest tonight for the dance, so I have to go home and make soup!”
The week ended with the soup and bannock judging, for which the first-place winner received $100, followed by a dance with live entertainment as well as fireworks.