Women of Aspenland 2015 celebration part 1

Women from our own community are inducted into the Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum’s Women of Aspenland exhibit.

  • Dec. 9, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Samson Cree Nation logo

On October 18, 1929, Alberta’s Famous Five (Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, and Henrietta Edwards) succeeded in having Canadian women defined as “persons” under law. To celebrate this, and coinciding with Women’s History Month each October, women from our own community are inducted into the Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum’s Women of Aspenland exhibit. Now in its 19th year, and consisting of 85 “persons”, this project showcases the lives of local women who embody the heart of Wetaskiwin city, county and Maskwacis. Heritage Museum on Saturday, October 17 celebrated the induction of Lou Klone, Dorothy French, and Florence Buffalo.

Florence Buffalo

Florence Buffalo was a kind, generous and loving individual. Her many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, both biological and adopted, can attest to this. She dedicated her life to bettering the community and always tried her hardest to put a smile on everyone’s face. Florence passed away on November 29, 2014, and to respect the traditions of Cree culture and the family and friends of Florence still undergoing the grieving process, we will not be displaying any photographs of Florence until after a full year of mourning has passed. We will however, share her story with you so that you may know what a remarkable person she was, and the legacy that she has left behind.

Florence was born in Kehewin Cree Nation on September 20, 1938. Her parents were William and Sarah and she had nine siblings. Together as a family, they lived off the land growing what foods they could and hunting the rest. When Florence was eight years old, she was sent to Blue Quills Indian Residential School where she stayed until completing Grade 8. Afterwards, she was sent to Olds to take agriculture training. This is where she met Frank Buffalo—her future husband.

Florence and Frank were married on November 20, 1956 and had 10 children. They lived in Kehewin until Frank got a job at a sawmill. The entire family moved out to the camp where he was working and just like in Kehewin, they lived off the land. Florence and Frank moved to Maskwacis in 1966 shortly after sending their children to Samson to attend school.

While living in Samson, Florence became involved in band politics. She served on band council for 33 years and in 1997 was elected as the first female chief in Samson. She faced protest as there were some band members who believed that the role of chief should only be held by a man, however Florence did not give up. She remained chief for one term and forgave those who protested against her.

Florence loved to make people laugh. She would tell humorous stories about her childhood, like the time she sat yodelling with a lard bucket stuck on her head. She always ended her speeches with a joke and used humour to diffuse any tense situation. She joked with everyone; it did not matter if it was the bingo caller or a politician such as Ralph Klein. She had a huge heart which was constantly demonstrated in her every day actions. She would buy groceries for the families who needed them and she would always keep her freezer stocked with meat and bread. She adopted many people as her own and was called mom and Kohkom [Grandma] by them all. She’s been referred to as Mother Theresa because of what she has done for others and the way that she carried herself. She was very spiritual and would always remember to give thanks to the Creator and would pray morning, afternoon and night.

Florence has touched the lives of so many individuals and families and she is greatly missed. She has made such a positive impact in the community and her legacy will continue to live on through those she loved.

 

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

Just Posted

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Collision on Highway 2A causing fatality still under investigation.

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read