Dr Freda Ahenakew Branch: Saskatoon Public Library Naming Ceremony

I’ve haven’t got much to add to the Eagle Feather News report of the library renaming in Saskatoon on Friday, 10 February 2017. It was a wonderful, wonderful event for the hundreds (yes! hundreds!) who attended. The Cree Literacy Network was enormously proud to give away 330 copies of its new book, nicâpân owâskahikan / Câpân’s House: A family album from the home of Dr Freda Ahenakew thanks to the generosity of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner and Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre and other individual donors. Since the remaining 70 copies are all spoken for (and disappearing fast), we’re already planning a second printing!

If I had to choose a single favourite moment, it would be when Dolores Sand, from the podium, invited the crowd to join her in singing to Brian MacDonald – yet another of Freda’s students – his own beloved tânisi song.

A close second came when Cecilia Bahlser – one of Freda’s many granddaughters – got up to leave a “small” family group of 40 or so who had gone for lunch: “I’d kiss you all, but I have to be back at work by 1:45!”

It is really a blessing to help maintain – and spread – Freda’s wonderful legacy.

In addition to my own photos, the gallery above includes images “borrowed” from the Facebook posts of family and other guests at the event, and are shared here with gratitude to Brenda Ahenakew, Simon Bird, Darlene Okimaysim-Sicotte and others.


From YouTube, here is Saskatchewan Public Library’s own video of the complete ceremony:

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