Lt. Governor Lois Mitchell, left, and library manager Shirley Cire. Photos by Emily Jaycox

Lt. Governor Lois Mitchell, left, and library manager Shirley Cire. Photos by Emily Jaycox

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.

Knowledge Keeper for Parkland Regional Library Roy Louis.

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

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

Photo by Emily Jaycox

Photo by Emily Jaycox

Just Posted

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday and sweeping new measures as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

Children and their families enjoy the light display at Centennial Park in 2019. (File photo)
Town anounces expanded light display and new Christmas Light Tour

The Town of Ponoka will flip the switch on an expanded Christmas… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

file photo
Wetaskiwin, Maskwacis RCMP search warrant seize drugs; numerous charges laid

39-year-old Wetaskiwin man, Wayne Wiebe charged with 21 criminal code offences.

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Central zone active cases slightly up

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Ilaria Rubino is shown in this undated handout image at University of Alberta. Alberta researcher Rubino has developed technology allowing mostly salt to kill pathogens in COVID-19 droplets as they land on a mask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Alberta
Alberta researcher gets award for COVID-19 mask innovation

The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval.

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read