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Carry the Kettle Elder to receive Order of Merit.

Each year the province of Saskatchewan hands out Order of Merit Awards to outstanding members of the community.

This year's recipients have been announced and among them is Cora Thomson, a resident of Carry the Kettle First Nation.

The award, established 22 years ago in 1985, is intended to recognize the contributions made by recipients to the social, economic and cultural well being of their communities.

It is called the province's highest award of merit.

Thomson said she was very surprised but felt honored when she heard she was to receive the award.

Throughout her life she has worked tirelessly within her community in several capacities, and has been a positive role model for many.

"I was a councillor for two years for two different times, and I sat on a lot of boards, hospital boards for two different hospitals, also the education board. I was involved with the powwows. I sort of got it started back in the 80s when I was president [of the band powwow committee] for approximately four years, and before that I was treasurer for, you know, small powwows. But this powwow that I was trying for, I was trying for it to be what it is today. And there was a lot of other work that I volunteered to do, like the sewing clubs and the women's clubs. Oh, I can't remember it all," said Thomson.

As a founding member of the Fire Hills Tribal Council Police Service Board, Thomson said she has seen her community go through many hard times.

She is currently an executive member of the Montmartre Royal Canadian Legion.

The wife of a veteran, she is a strong supporter of the Saskatchewan First Nations' Veterans Association and is a member of the Ladies Legion Auxiliary.

"I'm a person that can't sit still. I've got to be doing things. You know, I just enjoy working, even farming and just all kinds of work," said Thomson.

Though she lived her life helping her community, Thomson doesn't see herself as a leader.

"You see at the time, I didn't think of anything, I just did what I had to do, and I enjoyed the work and just was glad to help the community," she said.

Her love of farming led her to become partner in the mixed farming operation in the area, and this eventually led her to become one of the first trustees for the Carry the Kettle First Nation Treaty Land Entitlement process.

Through this she helped in obtaining agricultural land for her community that now creates revenue of about $600,000 annually.

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Though the date on which Thompson will be presented with her Saskatchewan Order of Merit has not yet been announced, Thomson said she will be attending the event with her family.

By Gauri Chopra

Sage Staff Writer

CARRY THE KETTLE FIRST NATION
COPYRIGHT 2007 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
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Title Annotation:Saskatchewan Sage: Special Section providing news from Saskatchewan
Author:Chopra, Gauri
Publication:Windspeaker
Geographic Code:1CSAS
Date:Dec 1, 2007
Words:476
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