SVDN Lands – Day on the Lands Event (2023.06.30)

On May the 26th we hosted a barbecue where Darby Essie cooked some barbecue breakfast.  We held a special learning event for our SVDN high school students.  James Pratt and staff and company and all available students came to the Brandon Residential school site and held a special on the land learning event where all our specialists from the previous day’s work from the AAFC, along with members from ISC (Indigenous Services Canada) additions to reserve department, Ian Boughton and his team joined to help produce a learning event for all.

We also incorporated Katherine Nicols, Brent Perrin and Lashawnda Hildebrandt and the ongoing work and research they are doing with the drones and the Ground penetrating radar gear.  They delivered a presentation and amazing visuals that included the drones and machinery involved, we did plan to have the drones in the air, but mother nature would not cooperate, and the windy conditions wouldn’t allow us to achieve this safely, none the less, they instead pivoted and allowed each student some hands-on experience with the ground penetrating radar machine.

We had special guest Cheyenne Ironman and Dan Soprovich (over 40 years’ experience converting reserve additions to lands) come and join us.  Cheyenne explained some of her duties and delivered a presentation where she discussed the various works she has ongoing throughout the nation and how important this environmental work will be heading into the future.  Were hopeful to attract some young talent to the lands and environmental departments here in SVDN and wanted to offer different avenues to the students to help facilitate that to happen. 

AAFC also put together a representation focused on bees and the importance of pollination of plants and flowers for the students.  They also included 3 handbooks which SVDN teachers took away from the event to help identify plants and animals and have the actual Dakota language to be included in the AAFC research so that Dakota language was right in there with the educational experience, that they would like filled out and returned at some point to help establish and capture Dakota Language within their research.  This made it feel like a true knowledge sharing event on both sides.

Councilor Jon Bell and Kylie Bell also joined us as well, and the day concluded with the ISC meeting with Chief & Council at the end of the day.  The support not only from ISC and the additional to lands department, but also the neighboring business and corporation (AAFC) helps SVDN to establish a better future now, but also the future generations looking to establish themselves in the work force professionally by meeting individuals already working within these desired fields.

A special shout out to the entire lands team, Kolby Pratt and Cora-Leigh Demas for providing speeches and presentations a lot of groundwork to make this all possible, of course a special thankyou to our cook Darby Essie and all that you do, goes without question. 

Big thank you all around to our presenters and guest speakers and professionals who took time out of their busy days to make this event a memorable one.  

Huge shout out to the entire communications team, Elton Taylor, Bryden Speiss and Daniza De Paola for covering the event and getting the goods on the event and everything they do to capture these important moments in time, we appreciate it, we all do, SVDN.

And a huge, big thank you to the Public Works staff for getting tables and chairs out for everybody during the plus 30 weather, we appreciate everything your team does, nothing happens without all the work that you guys accomplish behind the scenes which you guys do every single day, so thank you very much guys, for all that you do, you are appreciated more than you’ll ever know, and a huge thankyou to Eric Beaulieu for putting up with my last minute changes.

Thank you, Chief & Council and our leadership, for having constructed such a great group of professional people and cast around us and such a sportive team.  It takes a great team to accomplish an event like this one and to such a high level in which it was delivered, I couldn’t do it without that continued support and belief, thanks guys!

Lastly to Oyate and community, and in this instance, (in particular), the SVDN High school students, who were inquisitive, attentive, got in there and got involved, asked the questions, used the machines and really made to whole thing a success, when you witnessed how much the kids loved and appreciated it, it really made all the extra work seem effortless, so thank you.

-SVDN Lands Manager