By Marci Becking
NORTH BAY – Caitlyn Lee, citizen of Maskwacis First Nation in Alberta, was the winner of the Ontario Heritage Fairs Association Founder’s Award.
Lee, a student at Nbisiing Secondary School, was among 105 students from the Near North District School Board and the North Bay-Parry School Catholic School Board who created projects for the 2014 North Bay Regional Heritage Fair held May 2 at Nipissing University.
The judges thought that Lee’s project “History of Pow-wows” – which was primarily presented with oral story-telling — showed exceptional enthusiasm and dedication to history and heritage. Dressed in her Jingle Dress regalia, Lee’s display unit consisted of photos of various pow-wow dance styles, which she could demonstrate, something not easily captured by the written word.
Maurice Switzer, director of communications at the Union of Ontario Indians and editor of anishinabeknews.ca, presented four Anishinabek Nation awards. These were awarded for the first time to students who create projects that increase public awareness of First Nations history, culture, or contemporary issues.
Winners of the Anishinabek Nation awards – $25 each and copies of “We are all Treaty People” –were Cyril Commanda-Stevens, citizen of Nipissing FN , a W.J. Fricker student whose project was “Anishnabe Sweat Lodge”, Kirsten McLeod, Moose Factory, W. J. Fricker project “Residential Schools”, Dominique Desruisseaux, St. Luke Catholic Elementary, project “Les Wendat” and Austin Campbell, W.J. Fricker project “Hidden Secrets”.