Lorne Jr. Waditaka
P.O. Box 128
Prince Albert, Sask.
Ph: 764 6649
The Wahpeton Dakota Nation Chief and Council would like to thank all the staff and membership for their hard work and dedication over the past year in working towards the goals and objectives of our Dakota Nation. The community focus is to keep striving towards strengthening the self-determination and the sovereignty of our Dakota Nation. This will ensure the survival of our people by promoting pride in our culture, language, traditional and spiritual values.
The Wahpeton Dakota Nation promotes continued socio-economic growth and development to create enhanced business and employment opportunities for the membership. Overall, our mandate is to improve the quality of life within the community by creating an environment in which band members have better access to education, health and justice services in order to meet the needs of our citizens.
Respect, harmony, self-reliance and involvement are positive attitudes in which the Wahpeton Dakota Nation encourages the people to keep fostering.
Wahpeton was established and recognized as a Reserve in 1894. Present day Wahpeton Dakota Nation is located 15 km northwest of Prince Albert. The Dakota People had been living in and around this area for hundreds of years having campsites in the following areas: Little Red River Park (94B), Peter Pond, Cooke Municipal Golf Course, Carlton School, Miller´s Hill and a few other places in what is now known as Prince Albert. Wahpeton Dakota Nation is the smallest Band within the Prince Albert Grand Council and has the highest employment rate per capita.
There are seven of nine family groups living on Wahpeton Dakota Nation and each of these groups appoint one family member to represent them on each committee. The committee is the recommending body to the Chief and Council with each committee being chaired by the respective Portfolio Councillor. The Chief and Council ratify all recommendations brought forth by the committees. The major decisions are made at the Chief and Council level or at the General Assembly.
Currently, there are 425 people registered with the Wahpeton Dakota Nation, with 230 residing On- Reserve. All Band employed personnel are given the opportunity to take First Aide/CPR training. Everyone is encouraged to become involved in activities, which enhance the operation and growth of our community.
The pursuit furthering post-secondary education and professional development is strongly encouraged. Many of our members have been trained in areas such as: foster parenting, emergency response, fire fighting, committee membership, intervention and prevention (drugs, alcohol, behaviour, child and spousal abuse and bullying). Computer literacy is at about 85% with a general literacy rate of 100% On-Reserve. Participation and growth in our culture and traditions is a priority as we are also seeking to preserve our language and ceremonial activities.
The main body of Wahpeton Dakota Nation lands consists of 5 and ¾ Sections located on 94A and 80 acres located at Wahpeton 94B, located adjacent to Little Red Park. Presently, we are working on a permit basis only with the local farmers. Leases are not offered in order for Wahpeton Dakota Nation to retain control of the lands.
Wahpeton Dakota Nation is working on new business ventures, such as, the Bison Jerky Project and bottled spring water. The bison operation has about 280 bison grazing the pastures on Wahpeton 94A. We also have a small growing herd in Standing Buffalo (approximately 32 head). Tatanka Convenience Store continues to be a profitable enterprise, employing 4 part time employees and a few casual workers. Other partnership revenues include the South Hill Minor Emergency, PA First Nation Business Development LP, Sundry and PAGC, PADC Holdings, Men´s Healing Lodge 94B and IMI Brokerage Company. Tatanka Public works is an on-going business initiative.
The Health Program operates with a Director and eight staff members, with two health professionals in the community from PAGC one or more days per week. There are a number of programs that are on-going throughout the year such as the Family Wellness Programs, Coffee Talk, Pre-Natal and Post-Natal, workshops on Mental Health and NNADAP services for the community members. The centre also has a comprehensive community/home care nursing program and environmental health services.
Education – School Profile
Wahpeton Dakota Nation School offers a strong academic program consisting of the Saskatchewan Education curriculum, equivalent provincial programs and CTBS testing. Classes are offered for Nursery/Kindergarten to grade 9 with the grades 10-12 transported to Carlton Comprehensive High School in Prince Albert. We have a strong Dakota Cultural Language Program offered with half hour lessons on a daily schedule with adults invited to participate.
Other community school program consists of such events as: meet the teacher night, the parent/teacher interviews has a 94 % attendance rate. The Christmas Concert includes a family portion along with a high percentage of parent involvement in the school, ie, chaperoning, volunteering and family provided scholarships at the graduation ceremonies.
Day care/Headstart Programs
The Day Care Program consists of providing five seats for children aged 0 to 5 years of age. The Aboringinal Headstart Program is running at full capacity with nine students attending in the morning and twelve students in the afternoon. There is a monthly schedule that is posted for the parents and community members to sign up on a volunteer within the classroom. The present goal is to secure enough funds to complete the extension for a larger classroom.
The recreation program is open to youth between the ages of 6 – 17, six days a week and is operated out of the Health Program. The program consists of the four categories: winter, summer, fall and spring activities. Within these categories they work with sports and cultural activities. The Dakota Oyate Dance Troupe is also a successfully operated program that brings together both the youth participants and adults from within the community.
Wahpeton has a quarter time Justice Worker, through PAGC, who is responsible for all areas of the Community Justice program. The Justice Committee meets once a month to deal with the issues that pertain to the community. There are ongoing workshops offered for adults and youth in the area of Justice.
The annual graduation celebration was held on June 17, 2004. This community gathering acknowledge the accomplishments and achievements of students of all ages, from the Headstart Program to Post-Secondary graduates.
- Nine students graduated from the Headstart Program
- twelve kindergarten students
- eight grade six students
- six grade nine students
- five grade twelve students
- post-secondary students
Wahpeton Dakota Nation Powwow
We would like to extend an invitation to all those who wish to participate in the Wahpeton Dakota Nation Powwow. This event will be held July 8-10, 2005.