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“Our History is Who We Are”

Jan 16, 2017

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Joanna Natomagan and Helen Natomagan are Adult Basic Education (Level 4) students at Pinehouse Lake.

In our home community of Pinehouse Lake, we have come a very long way from so much negativity. Our town has blossomed and grew from ways that might be painful for some to talk about. There were days when the proportion of the community’s population that consumed alcohol was estimated to be in the high 90’s. But today, the positive changes that have been achieved by our people are something to be proud of.

About 20 years ago, an interagency group was formed in Pinehouse. It involved local organizations coming together to brainstorm and come up with a strategic plan on how to move our community forward. There are about 45 members today. Change has come gradually over time. Today, we have a new arena, a preschool, daycares, RCMP detachment, and a co-op store. Pinehouse also has a village office, health centre, victim services, wellness centre, Kids First North, and elementary and high schools.

The interagency group has adopted the name Reclaiming Our Community (ROC) Group. It has spearheaded intervention programs and the results have been impressive. While there are still alcohol and drug-related issues, they are not as severe as they once were.

Our town is one big family; it is small so everyone knows each other and what we have all collectively been through. This has made us stronger as a whole and will continue to look forward to a brighter future for generations to come. As Glen McCallum once said, “Our History is who we are.” In our history we have found ourselves, our challenges and strengths. Together we have decided to make tomorrow better for us and the future generation.

With the increased community engagement where regular meetings are held to discuss issues affecting us, we have become very proactive. The community has strategic plan that is supported by all members and is based on our vision, mission and strategic goals. The future looks great for Pinehouse. Together we are succeeded. And GDI, through its education and training programs, has been a big part of that success.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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