Maskwacis celebrated the official opening of its permanent library Sept. 20. The facility is housed in the Howard Buffalo Memorial Centre.

Maskwacis now has permanent library

Only one of two in province

The community of Maskwacis celebrated the official opening of its first-ever permanent library on Sept. 20 at the Howard Buffalo Memorial Centre.

With the library comes access to the Alberta Public Library Network, eLibraries, access to the Internet and community programs.

The grand opening began with a drum song performed by Darren Simon.

Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson was present and gave a few remarks.

“It’s a great thing for the community, for the kids to get involved in,” said Wilson.

Lt. Governor Lois Mitchell gave a surprise appearance, donating two books to the library on physical literacy, an issue

“I have a deep love for physical literacy, for getting these children out in the fresh air,” said Mitchell.

“What I love especially is seeing these children here; it warms my heart.”

Mitchell added, “Every time I come here I’m in awe of what is happening in this community.”

Jim Johnson, who was the master of ceremony along with Jordana Littlepoplar, gave a history of how the current library came to be.

In 2018, Shirley Cire from Parkland Regional Library (PRL), reached out about starting a mobile library pilot program.

That mobile library quickly gained 300 users and evolved into the permanent fixture in the Howard Buffalo Memorial Centre.

A lot of work has since gone into making the current location inviting and functional.

The library is just the second permanent Indigenous library in Alberta, says Johnson.

Its collection of books and programs offered are reflective of the community of Maskwacis.

A few book titles on the shelves include: UNeducated: A Residential School Graphic Novel, Council of Animals, Secret Path, and On Being Here to Stay: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights in Canada.

“It’s very great we have this facility and this place for our members, the four nations of Maskwacis,” he said.

Cire, the library’s manager, says she’s very excited for this opening. Running the pop-up library was fun, but a lot of work.

She’s pleased that it will be possible to provide more consistent services now that it has a permanent space.

“We’re going to continue to grow and we hope to see you all.”

“Thank you for inviting us and letting us celebrate with you,” said Deb Smith from PRL.

“It really is a momentous occasion.”

The library is currently open one day a week, with the goal of increasing that to five days a week in the future.

Other speakers included Mario Swampy from Samson Cree Nation, Roy Louis, Knowledge Keeper for PRL and Diana Davidson, director of the Public Library Service Branch for Municipal Affairs.

Once the speakers had concluded, guests were invited to partake in refreshments, including bannock, fruits and veggies, coffee and cake.

Maskwacis is home to the Samson Cree Nation, the Ermineskin Cree Nation, the Montana Band and the Louis Bull Tribe.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Knowledge Keeper for Parkland Regional Library Roy Louis.

The hon. Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations for the province of Alberta.

Photo by Emily Jaycox

Just Posted

Team improves access to addiction, mental health supports

Service provides expanded on-call consultation

Pinpointing innovations

How precision spraying system helps Kings Lake Hutterite Colony save time, products and water

County gravel pit requires wetland solution

County of Wetaskiwin hears report about wetlands at Hilgartner pit

Financial expert: demand for oil will continue to grow

Angus Watt discusses 2020 economy in Wetaskiwin Jan. 17

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Energy companies owe more than double the tax to Alberta municipalities

Survey says communities are owed $173 million — up 114% since last spring

No gondola from Banff to Mount Norquay, feds say

Parks Canada dismisses proposal for gondola, Grizzly Pavilion and boardwalks

U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

The U.S. is the fifth country to report seeing the illness

Nine times lucky? Alberta’s Northern Cree takes another shot at Grammy gold

The group originates from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in northern Alberta

Tax revolt? Unpaid taxes from energy companies to Alberta towns more than double

The association says they are owed a total of $173 million

New post-secondary funding model in Alberta tied to performance measures

By 2022, up to 40 per cent of post-secondary funding could be linked to performance

Most Read