Cote


Cote History (W.M.S)

The following reports are from the Annual Reports of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada 1875 - 1958. 


1875-77: 

At Okanase (125 miles N.W. of Wpg.) and at Fort Pelly (250 m. N.W. of Wpg.) Rev. Geo. Flett has laboured among the Indians with a considerable degree of success. From his familiarity with the language and customs of the Crees, he has special qualifications for the work. He has selected as the headquarters of his mission one of the reserves where a considerable body of them are likely to become permanently resident. He has access to near 400 Indians in that region, 200 of whom are settled in Okanase and about 200 make Fort Pelly their headquarters. 

Intelligent visitors who have been at Okanase and observed the working of the mission give pleasing testimony to its efficiency.  


We are assured that Mr. & Mrs. Flett are doing an excellent work and doing it with all their hearts.


1877-78: 

Rev; Geo. Flett Continues to labour with zeal and success among 4 or 5 hundred Indians at the various points he visits. Very favorable reports concerning his work and the influence he exerts have been received through the Presbytery of Manitoba. His annual report has not yet come to hand.


1878-79:

Rev. Flett Travels over a field two or three hundred miles in extent, Preaching to the Indians in their own tongue and administering as occasion requires Christian Ordinances. He has visited Fort Ellice five times, Shoal Lake seven times and Fort Pelly and Bird Tail Creek once each during the year. When he is at home on Okanase reserve he preaches twice and occasionally three times every Sabbath and holds a prayer meeting on a week day. He conducts a Sabbath School once or twice according to circumstances on the Lord's day. He has twelve communicants enrolled in the fellowship of the church at Okanase and four more preparing for admission at the next sacramental season. Not a few of the Indians to whom he ministers had been baptized in the Romish Church.


1879-80:

At Okanase and associated stations, Rev. Geo. Flett has laboured with his usual zeal and self-denial and is, on the whole, encouraged by the decided indications good accomplished. He reports 37 baptisms at Okanase, 7 at Fort Ellice, and 24 at Fort Pelly making a total of 68 registered during the year among the visible people of Christ, 52 of these being adults. He reports seven marriages and 54 members in full communion resident at Okanase and Fort Pelly.

Owing to the scarcity of provisions among the Indians, many of them during the past winter were with great difficulty saved from starvation, and Mr. Flett‘s limited resources were taxed to the utmost to meet the pressing calls made upon him. He writes: Just before Christmas I had to make four trips to a camp of Indians north of us to bring them some food and medicine and also some clothing which Mrs. Bryce had the goodness to gather from other kind friends. I saw there was danger of their freezing to death, so I got my team of horses and made two trips and brought them all to my place, 20 of them. In addition to this Mr. Flett had himself to feed, from 20 to 25 Indians every day for more than a month. The above will help us to realize what a burden such a winter lays on a self-denying and generous missionary. The Committee made e grant of $209 to aid in the erection of a church at Okanase. The wood for the church was got out during the winter and this gave a little employment to some of the young men and aided in a measure to allay the distress. 


1880-81: 

Mr. Flett‘s unflagging zeal is recognized by all who come in contact with him. The chief at Fort Pelly and his Indians expressed a strong desire to have a school established among them, The committee of the Presbytery of Manitoba considered that the prospects of a successful school at this point were such as to warrant the outlay necessary, and steps were taken to meet the wishes of the Indians. A grant of $100 was made to aid them in the erection of a school-house and the committee was authorized to secure the services of a suitable teacher. A very considerable portion of the salary will be met by the Government grant to the school.


1881-82

At Crowstand near Fort Pelly a school has been opened for the Indian children which promises to do much good 

{Crowstand Indian Residential School Kamsack, SK  Denomination: Presbyterian Period of Operation:opened 1888; closed 1913  ref: http://www.wherearethechildren.ca/en/map/sk/schools.php?id=80


The teacher, Mr. Cuthbert Mckay, has been very successful. Prof. Hart writes respecting him, "He gives Mr. Flett great satisfaction and we know that Mr. Flett's standard is very high. Mr. C. McKay's post is a very important point. There will soon to be three large reserves adjoining each other at Crowstand”, In addition to his weekly labours in the school Mr. McKay preaches to the Indians on the Sabbath. 


Mr. Flett has 6 stations which he serves regularly and others where he preaches in winter. The most important of these is Crowstand reserve near Fort Pelly where Mr. Cuthbert McKay teaches school and also renders valuable services as a catechist by preaching to the Indians on Sabbath. There are two other reserves contiguous to Crowstand where many Indians reside. Mr. Mckay has 37 pupils and an average attendance of 27 1/2. As this point is fully 100 miles from Okanase Mr. Flett cannot visit it frequently but when he goes he usually remains a number of days and holds a succession of services. These are always well attended and the Indians of whom there is a large body in the neighborhood are very friendly. The Crowstand reserve is 12 miles long and six wide and has excellent soil. An ordained minister should be sent to this point without delay where at least 700 Indians would come under his influence. Mr, Flett has been authorized to erect a small house upon the half section of land adjoining the reserve and break up a portion of the prairie, so as to secure at once a residence for the mission worker and a title to the property. This has now been done. Rev. Flett reports 20 baptisms at Crowstand and adjoining reserves during the year and there are now14 communicants in good standing at Crowstand and 8 in each of the adjoining reserves.


1883-84:

Rev. Mr. Flett spent 4 1/2 months at the three reserves in the neighborhood of Fort Pelly, holding services regularly at five stations and occasionally at three other places, speaking in English, French, or Cree as best suited his audiences. The population on these reserves is 630, number of communicants 34. Mr. Flett was much encouraged by the kindly manner in which he was received by the people, and by the interest they took in his services. He speaks very gratefully of the kindness Shown him by Mr. McBeth, H. B. C. officer in charge of Fort Pelly. It is planned that Mr. G. McKay should be placed in charge of Fort Pelly and Crowstand Reserves as a Missionary for the summer. The committee have has under consideration the suggestion of the Manitoba Presbytery about the expediency of ordaining Mr. McKay and they regard the matter worthy of serious concern.


1884-85:

The removal of Rev. Flett from Okanase has for some time been in contemplation. It is felt that he could be placed with great advantage in a more extended field. Mr. Flett has been away from heme a great deal preaching or visiting Indians on other reserves. Good service was rendered during his absence by Donald McVicar B.A a young Cree teacher and preacher from Manitoba College. Nothing has been done in regard to having Mr. C.G. McKay ordained. He has been in poor health the greater part of the year but is now much improved.


1885-86:

Cote's Reserve. This reserve is situated near Fort Pelly on the Assiniboine River in the northeastern corner of the Provence about 100 miles north of the nearest station of the C'P. railway. There are 264 persons resident on this reserve under Chief Gabriel Cote. Our church is represented here by Mr. C. G. McKay who discharges the double duty of missionary and teacher. In the present unsatisfactory condition of his health it is difficult for him to give the necessary attention to the duties that such a position implies. The Chief and Headmen have just shown their appreciation of Mr. McKay by asking to have him ordained as their missionary. The number on the communion roll is about 30. There is no Church and during the winter Mr. McKay has been holding services in the houses of the Indians with good attendance. There are 20 children in the school and Mr. McKay expects seven or eight additional pupils during the summer months. The school has lately been removed to the Indian village on the reserve and there are good prospects of a larger attendance.

Okanase Reserve  Rev; Mr. Flett, our missionary, has been in charge here for about 10 years. During that time the progress made has been very marked. When Mr. Flett entered on his labours the Indians were pagan and uncivilized and now they are a Christian community living in comparative comfort and in regularity and interest in church attendance, giving e good example to their white neighbours. In all his faithful labours among his people Mr. Flett has ever found an enthusiastic and efficient fellow labourer in his devoted wife. Mr. Flett has spoken of handing over his reserve to the care of the home mission committee and the time is not far distant when this step should be taken.


Cote‘s Reserve and Keeseekoose Reserve. There is here a population of about 440. Mission work was begun here about l2 years ago by our veteran missionary Rev. George Flett. Some 6 years ego this field was placed under Cuthbert G. McKay as teacher and catechist. About 2 months ago Cuthbert was called to his rest and reward. As long as his failing health permitted he did his work faithfully and well. He held his post to the last and died as he said he wished to die, " In harness". The Rev. Hugh McKay of Round Lake Mission visited this field a few days ago and in a letter just received he says: "We were much encouraged by what we saw and heard". The Indians on this reserve are far ahead of those at Round Lake and show that the labours of our missionary have not been in vein. We did not go far until we were asked if we could have a meeting and with a notice of half an hour we had a gathering of over twenty. The house in which we met was neat and clean. Everything seemed in order and the people comfortable. One asked if he could have his child baptized. The little one was presented by a believing father and mother and the clothing in which it was dressed would do credit to any white woman. One said: " We are ignorant and in the dark and we want to be told again and again that we may know about the gospel". Another said, " We always try to have family worship in our home". We found many of the children able to speak English fairly well and some of them reading in the 3rd book. One of the men said,”We are anxious that our school should soon open again, that our children may attend." One woman said. " I lost my husband lately, also a boy and a girl and we have wept much for them. Our hearts are sore. These, pointing to three little ones, are all I have left and I wish to bring them up as Christians."


I repeat that I was much pleased with what I saw and heard and I returned to Round Lake more encouraged than ever to work among the poor Indians."The school that Cuthbert McKay taught is on Cote Reserve. The number of pupils on the role is 22. His labour as catechist extended over the two reserves and including the Hudson Bay Post at Fort Pelly. The communion roll contains some thirty-four names.


The committee have just recently appointed two missionaries to take charge of these two; reserves, succeeding Mr. Cuthbert McKay, Messrs. G. A. Laird B.A and D.H. McVicar BA who have just completed their Theological course at Manitoba College. Mr. Laird will take permanent charge of the mission while Mr. McVicar will assume the duties of teacher for the next six months and is also to cooperate with Mr. Laird at the various preaching stations. Mr. McVicar is a full blooded Cree and a grandson of Chief Mistawasis. He was adopted when an infant by Rev. James Nisbet as a ward of the church. About 8 years ago he came to Manitoba College. His course was a distinguished one in the University of Manitoba where he graduated with honors in Natural Science gaining the Governor General‘s medal, the highest honor of the year. His course in Theology has also been successful. And he is now sent forth to labour among his Indians brethren with high hopes and earnest prayers for his success. He has already had considerable experience as a teacher and is well known in the school to which he is appointed as he at one time relieved Cuthbert McKay when failing health rendered assistance necessary.


1887-88

Our Missionary in charge is the Rev. G.A. Laird B.A; for whose salary the congregation of St. Andrews church, London, Ont. has with true liberality become responsible. Our school on Cote Reserve is under the care of Mr. D. s. McvVicar B.A. Since Mr. McVicar took charge of it the school has been very successful. The number of pupils on the roll is 30 and the average attendance for the last quarter was 22 which is excellent average for an Indian Day School. There is a class of seven in the 4th book (Grades 7 & 8) A part of one of the gospels is read and studied daily and such works as "Peep of Day" are carefully taught and much liked. The girls in the school are taught sewing, etc., by Mr. Laird. He has kept 5 or 6 children in his own house and so well satisfied is he with the experiment that he is very desirous of having a boarding school erected at once. The committee has recommended that a suitable building be put up without delay.


Mr. Laird sends the following report:

Our Sabbath and week evening services are regularly attended 7 not only by those who profess Christianity, but he e number of others. The people are quiet and orderly at the services and listen attentively. At the principal station the attendance averages from 40 to 50 with sometimes as many as 70 present. There have been 15 baptisms, one of them that of an adult. Nine have been added to the communion role, 8 on profession of faith, one by certificate.


We have has two communion services which have proved interesting and we trust profitable. In August last Chief Cote became a convert to Christianity and was baptized. He has not yet become a member in full communion but has signified his intention of doing so at the next opportunity. The work on these reserves is hopeful. The present is largely a time of sowing but if the work is prosecuted with zeal and in dependence upon God for a blessing, there is no doubt that fruit will appear in due season. Even now we have evidence that the good seed is taking root and springing up. We look for good results in connection with the school. It has already done valuable service. It is most essential to the success of the work that a good School be maintained. It may be a difficult matter to elevate the present generation so that they will be become intelligent Christians but if the children are cared for I see no reason why the rising generation should not become not only useful citizens but take their place in the church as enlightened, God-fearing men and women.

1888-89. 

The Crowstand School.

This school is adjoining Cote Reserve. It was opened in January last. A new building was erected last summer on a beautiful site near the old mission house. The school is under the care of our missionary Rev. Geo. Laird and Mrs. Laird. The average attendance is 27. The Day school has been discontinued and the teacher Mr. John Black, has been transferred to the news school. The building in which the day school was carried on, the old substantial log school house in which Cuthbert McKay and Mr. McVikar did so much good work was burned in one of the most destructive prairie fires seen for years. The stables of the old mission were also destroyed and the new school was with great difficulty saved. The trees of the beautiful grove in front of the new school were all killed.


Mr. Laird conducted services at five different points on his reserves. The number of families in his mission is 46 and of the total population under his care is about 500. The number of communicants is 28. There were 8 added during the past year. The number of baptism was 9. The are two prayer meetings with an attendance of about 25 and a good Sabbath school attended by about 30 pupils. Mr. Laird reports that the work is hopeful. The attendance at the different points is regular and a spirit of inquiry exists, opposition to the Gospel is giving way. The people are learning civilized modes of life and improving socially. The new industrial school has given an impetus to the work all around. The people are rallying about the schools and are greatly pleased at having their children taken care of and taught. Rev. Geo. Flett visited these reserves last August and was pleased with the progress made.


1889-90

The Crowstand.

The three story stone building which was in process of erection a year ago was completed last summer at a cost of $30,000. It was fully occupied during the winter and this spring a re arrangement of rooms is being made in the old building and a small wooden addition is being erected which will fit the whole much better for the purpose for which it was intended. At the request of the Indians the erection of'a big church has been undertaken for which most of the labour will be furnished gratuitously by the Indians themselves. The Rev. G. A. Laird, BA and his wife who faithfully and laboriously carried on the work of this mission had been for sometime anxious about the education of  their own children away from the evil influence of an Indian reserve and in the month of March Mr. Laird sent in his resignation.


His place has been taken by Rev. G.W. Whyte, B.A. graduate of Montreal Presbyterian  College who during the past two years has given valuable service in the Home Mission field at Killarney, Man. Services are held at four places, with an average attendance of about 50. There are 44 communicants, three of whom were added to the roll during the year. For the past quarter the school had fifty names on the roll and an average attendance of 42. During the year 6 pupils have been transferred from this school to that at Regina by which process and by the increased accommodation indicated above, it is expected that there will be a complete avoidance in of the overcrowded condition of the school of which frequent complaints have hitherto been made. Much needed help was given to the principal last autumn by the appointment of an assistant in the person of Mr. W. J. Wright. Mr. Wright‘s special work is to act as industrial instructor to the boys and he has proved himself not only well qualified for his duties but capable of winning in a high degree the confidence and good will of the pupils under his charge.


1890-91

There are how 65 children on the roll with an average attendance last quarter of 49. During the year Miss Martha Armstrong was engaged as a second teacher to assist her elder sister Miss May Armstrong.

Services are held regularly by Mr. Laird at four places and occasionally at several others. Prayer meetings are held in the houses Indians on two evenings of the week and there is a Sabbath school in the Industrial school which has been found to be means of abundant blessing. The Mission contributed $59 last year to the schemes of the church.


1891-92

Mr. White, the missionary, now holds services at six places and has an average attendance of 20 at each service. The school under Mr. Whyte’s care has grown very rapidly and according to latest reports has so average attendance of about 5O. An addition was made last summer to the mission house in which the school is carried on and the building is once more taxed to its utmost capacity A stone building is to be erected this summer, which will serve as a school room and dormitory and will make it possible to take in an additional number of children.

Cote, the chief of these reserves, says is a recent letter to Prof. Hart "I feel that I ought to thank the Almighty for the good work being done amongst my people by the erection of the school. I find that the children are learning very fast, and as far as I can I will try to help all I can to make the school a success. I should be very glad if, when we can be more independent, we may build a church ourselves. I trust the Lord will help us to carry this out." This prayer is being fulfilled. Part of the materiel for the new church is already on the ground and the Indians promised to bring the rest of the material as soon as the hurry of the seed time is over.


1892-93

The last twelve months have seen several changes is the staff of this mission. Miss Jessie White, sister of the missionary, who had acted very acceptably as matron, gave up her place to become a teacher in the public school at Fort Pelly, in the same neighborhood, and where , since the children are all natives, her opportunities for Christian usefulness are scarcely less than in the Mission School. The position has, at the request of Mr. Whyte, been left temporarily unfilled and the duties are discharged by a rearrangement of other members of the staff. Miss Florence McLean, who has been in the service of the church for a number of years as instructress in sewing, etc., and part of the time as matron resigned on the eve of her marriage and her place has been temporarily taken by Miss Henrietta McKillop. Correspondence is now going on with a view to a permanent appointment. Miss Martha Armstrong, the second teacher has become the wife of Mr. W. J, Wright, the instructor in trades and still continues to live at the Mission and take an interest in its work. On account of the transfer of a number of pupils to Regina, the services of a second teacher are no longer necessary and no appointment has been made in her place. Miss E.M. Armstrong whose services as first teacher much of the efficiency of the school is due, resigned owing to her health during the winter and her place was temporarily filled by Miss M.. I. Mclntosh who has now been transferred to Okanase and Miss Helen Adam of St. John, New Brunswick, has entered upon her duties as teacher.


In spite of the many changes, the work of the mission has been carried on with diligence. Sabbath services are carried on by Mr. Whyte at five places with as great frequency as possible an in addition there is a Sabbath School at the Mission, a prayer meeting for the boys and during the summer months a class for women conducted by a lady teacher.


The hearts of the mission workers have been much cheered by the conversions of Shingoose - one of the head men of the reserve, who as a leader in paganism had for many years withstood the efforts of the missionaries. He is now an old man, and a man of considerable interest with the rest of the Band. His change of heart gives every outward evidence of being genuine, and it is likely that it will have not a little effect upon those Indians who are still holding out against Christian truth,


The school has neither been as well attended nor has it had as advanced scholars as in former years, on account of the transfer Of a considerable number of older pupils to Regina. Kindergarten methods and object lessons have been used with good effects and a good foundation is being laid for lives of honest, useful and Godly service in time to come. 


Mrs. White, while visiting Montreal last summer was made the recipient of a number of articles of great value to the mission — a melodeon, a large bell, a supply of paint, and $84.80 in money which testified to the interest felt in this, mission and the esteem in which the principal and his wife are held.


1895-94:

Services are held by Rev. C. W.  Whyte at six places: (1) The Crowstand School three times each month with an average attendance of about 35. (2) Chief Cote's house three times each month,attendance 40. (3) Two Creeks twice each month, attendance 15. (4) Kitchemonia’s house, twice each month. (5) Fort Pelly once a month attendance 30, (6) The Gardens, once a month, attendance 12.


Mr Whyte Says: "In presenting our report for the year just ended, we would first record our sincere thanks to our kind father in Heaven for His goodness to us in giving us health and strength to labour in this interesting field. And at the same time we wish to express our hearty thanks to all the friends who, by their prayers and their substance have assisted us in our work. Especially have we reason to thank the ladies of the Women's Foreign missionary Society for all the beautiful and useful clothing that they so liberally provided for those under our care, both old and young. Our children have been very comfortably clad during the winter, and we have a good supply of summer garments packed away ready for us when the warm weather comes. The old people on the reserve have received a goodly share and we do not know of any suffering for want of sufficient clothing. The younger people are always required to give something in exchange for the clothes and our report else where shows that the work, etc. thus gives materially aided the finances of the mission.Indeed in a school like ours where the distance from the railway makes everything so dear, where the children are so young that they are not able to help to any greet extent as they do in most other schools it would be impossible to pay expenses with the present small Government grant if that were not 12 supplemented by the clothing sent. The feeling against giving anything for the clothing has pretty well disappeared and able-bodied people will seldom ask for a present. Our thanks are due to a number of friends in Montreal who sent us money for the purchase of hospital requisites also for an organ. Our thanks also to the young people of Knox Church, Winnipeg who loaned us a magic lantern which formed a fine source of amusement and instruction for the children during some of the evenings of the past winter. 


The attendance at the services has been good during the past fall and winter an& many signs of interest have been shown. A number of request for bibles have been made. When asked what they would do with the bible since they were not able to read of them-selves and the answer was that some Indians can read and when these would come to their homes, they would ask them to read the "Great Writing" to them. We visit among the people as much as other duties permit and they always have a welcome when they visit us. There is seldom a day when we do not have some visitors, and hundreds of meals given help to weld their friendship for us, although at the same time they help t,o empty our larder.


In the Sabbath School we have followed the International lessons. During the week we have sought to prepare the children by drilling them at the time of family worship in the main facts of the lesson and its context and in the Golden Texts. Thus day by day they are trained in bible truths and is it our earnest prayer that every one of them may be His when He comes "to make up his jewels.“


The frequent changes in the staff at the school during the past year have hindered our pupils from making the steady progress we would have liked. Yet, notwithstanding, good work has been §one and it is not hard to see improvement. We are glad to say that English is now the language of the school and it is very seldom that an Indian word is heard. This is a great step in advance. During the past year we have sought as usual to educate the hand as well as the head and heart, and have introduced as many industries as we could. The carpenter shop and the farm gave scope to the boys. The girls, besides the usual housework, sewing and knitting, have been taught moccasin making, straw-hat plaiting, and mat making. Last summer they all had some experience in gardening, each having his or her own plot. The health of the children during the year has been fairly good, although at the present time five of our children are sick at home and apparently in a decline.


We have added to the buildings at the Mission this year a wagon and implement shed and a horse stable and have completed our ice house and milk house. A good deal of painting has been done all through the buildings this year. 


Thirteen new pupils have been brought to the school during the year and the prospect now is that very soon the roll will be as long as it was before the children were taken to Regina two years ago. 


One of the most encouraging events that has happened since I came to Crowstand occurred last week when a deputation of Indians, headed by the chief and two: headmen, waited upon me to say that they had held a Council about the matter and had agreed to do all the work they could in the finishing of the church free, provided the committee furnished the sawed lumber and shingles, nails, etc. and a carpenter to do the fine work. This is something to be very thankful for when you remember that at the first meeting that I had with the Indians two years ago, the chief told me that they had not invited the white men to come among them and if they did come they could build their own church, and at the meeting held with Mr. Laird before I came the agreement with the Indian was that they should be paid for all the work they did for the church. I have simply allowed the bare walls to stand there on the side of the road as a protest against their unwillingness to help in the Lord's work. Whenever they mentioned the matter I pointed out as well as I could their own duty.


1894-95

Mission Staff

Missionary - Rev. G. W. Whyte

Matron - Miss Flora Henderson,(succeeding Miss Rebecca Scott, recently married)

Teacher - Miss Kate Gillespie

Asst. Matron - Mrs. J. Lockhart

Trades Instructor - Mr. Jas. Hamilton (succeeding Mr. John S. Whyte.)


The attendance at Cote‘s reserve and Crowstand school continues good there being an average of 50 at both places. The number of communicants on the roll is now fifteen. One was added during the year and nineteen were removed, four on account of change of residence and fifteen following heathen customs. There were seven baptisms. One of the most encouraging features of the years work was the completion of the church building, so far at least that it is how fit to hold service in, although it is not yet plastered. To this the Indians gave $30.00 n money and a good deal of gratuitous labour such as hauling the lumber for the building a distance of 40 miles. White people in the school and neighborhood gave $147.00 towards the same object. The contribution from the Mission to the schemes of the church amount to $40. Mr. Whyte writes as follows:


The pest year is this mission has been one of steady work and steady advance. The attendance at church services has been better than ever before. Our new church building was so far completed as to be fit for use and during the winter services have been held in it regularly. A large number of our members we found were addicted to heathen practices end had instruments for conjuring in their possessions. We felt it best to remove their names from the roll. We did this after preaching on that subject several times and after private conference with the parties concerned. Some of them have since signified their intentions of giving up altogether their heathen practices and these will doubtless be restored at the next communion season. We are thankful that all are coming to church with great regularity. Some of our school children have professed faith in Christ but have not yet been received into church connection.The Sabbath school has been conducted regularly in the school building. The Sabbath evening service has always been in English and is specially for the children but is always attended by e number of Indians who understand English. As much visiting as possible has been done on the reserve. The people always seem pleased to see the missionary or anyone from the school and the relations between us and even the heathen Indians are very friendly.


We must again thank the Women's Missionary Society for the good supply of clothing sent. They have been a great help in more ways than one. The aged and infirm have been supplied free and those who are able have done work such as washing, scrubbing, sewing, getting wood , etc. In fact without all that we get for clothing it would be impossible to keep the school in a state of efficiency. Nearly ell the people are glad to get work with which to earn the clothing. We prefer this kind of gratitude to gratitude for presents.


Upward; of two hundred garments have been made is the past 6 months by Indian women on the Reserve for our children. Most of this work was paid for in clothing. This work keeps them from idleness and gives them practice in sewing, and ideas for the making of garments for themselves and the children at home.


In the school there has been much improvement during the year. Six new pupils have been enrolled. The attendance is now 34. English is the language of the school and comparatively little Indian is now heard. Miss Gillespie has done excellent work in the school room. A kindergarten class has been conducted for some months for the little folks. The industrial classes have been conducted regularly. Sewing, knitting, straw hat making and moccasin making have been taught. We have had literary meetings on Wednesday evenings when illustrated talks were given on various subjects scientific, historical and geographical. The children have taken part in these entertainments and were required on the following day to write on the subject. A good deal of attention has been given to the teaching of singing the theory as well as practice.


1895-96: 

During the pest winter services were held at six places, one of these being a lumber camp, which is occupied only in the winter time. In three of the places the average attendance ranged from 50-60; in the other three from l2 - 25. There are 20 Indian communicants and 9 others. There were 6 additions to the roll and seven baptisms. There is a well organized Sabbath School, which meets on Sabbath afternoons and a Christian Endeavor society which holds its meetings on Friday evening. The school has an enrollment of 37 with an average attendance of 36.


Mr. Whyte says: "During the past year the attendance upon ordinances has been very good, both at the church and at the other stations Even on cold stormy sabbaths when many churches would be almost empty, we had remarkably good congregations. Some of those who attended drove as far as 6,7,and 8 miles. We are glad to report a perceptible departure from the heathen customs. Heathen dances are by no means so common and the medicine man has less influence. Of course there is a great deal of superstition yet, but it will take generations to clear that away. There is a great improvement in the industry of the people. Many work very regularly and to good purpose. The homes show many signs of advance towards civilization. New cook stoves have been purchased, chairs and tables are quite common, the houses are cleanly, the clothing of the women and children is often an imitation of the work done at the school. The Indians here own a large number of cattle. Between the keeping of cattle and the work they can get, many are quite able to support themselves, and they do not require nearly as much assistance as they have received in the past. The clothing given is generally paid for by work of some sort. Gifts are seldom asked for now, of course this is not yet evidence of any unwillingness to be dependent, but they have to a large extent gotten out of the habit of asking for gifts. We try to teach them that it is wrong for them to ask for presents unless it is absolutely impossible for them to procure necessaries otherwise. Improvidence and wastefulness are among the worst hindrances to advancement among the Indians, and they must not be encouraged by gratuitous distribution of clothing or any thing else.


The school has been well filled during the past year. Beside the 30 treaty children we have had from six to eight non-treaty half-breed children, and three or four white children. Nine new pupils were admitted, six were removed to Regina Industrial school. This makes a total of 46 who have been sent from this school to the Regina Institution.


We have laid the foundation of a school library this year and have now upwards of 100 books including many of the most modern for primary classes. During the winter 23 books have been read by the children and five were read aloud to them.


Last summer a number of our older pupils visited the Regina Exhibition, accompanied by members of the staff, and for the first time beheld the wonders of the town.”


1896-97:

 Mr. Whyte say:

"The past year has been in many ways the happiest in present incumbency. The attendance in church services have kept up. The church building has been improved by a lining of lumber which has aided much to the appearance of its interior. The intercourse between missionary and people has been very friendly. The years spent among the people have increased their confidence and it would seem that the natural antipathy to the white man has been to a great extent overcome In addition to Sabbath services held more or less frequently at five places , there is a bible class on Monday evening and a Christian Endeavor Society on Friday evening. On account of the large number of non-treaty Indians in attendance the Government of the N.W.T. has promised a grant of  $300 per annum as to a public school.


The mission is about to lose the services of Rev. C. W. Whyte on account of the unsatisfactory state of Mrs. Whyte’s health, and of Miss Gillespie who goes to fit herself by a course of hospital training for further missionary services. The school has an enrolment of 41 pupils end an average attendance of 36.


1897-98:

Rev. C.W. Whyte resigned his position at the end of June and since then the position of Missionary end principal has been filled by Rev. K. Gilmour, who has given service in former-days at Birtle and Hurricane Hills.


Miss Josephine Petch of Crosshill, Ont. fills the position teacher left vacant by the transfer of Miss Gillespie to Mistawasis and Miss J. Gilmour, is now assistant Matron in the place of Miss McIlwaine transferred to Prince Albert. The church is about to lose the services of Miss Carson, who has given valuable service as matron for the past 6 years. Her resignation takes place in the month of June. Mr. Gilmour reports that sabbath services are held at two places on the reserve in addition to the school. The number of pupils on the school roll is 37 with an average attendance for the past quarter of 34. The conduct of the school children has been excellent. A number of the children attend the Sunday morning service in the church and also attend the Sunday School in the afternoon. A meeting or bible study is held on Monday evening and on Wednesday evening there is a C. E. meeting which is attended by the larger children.


1898-99:

Rev. Neil Gilmour, missionary,

Attendance on Sabbath morning at the church 30

Attendance on Sabbath afternoon at 2 Creeks (an Indian house) 15

Attendance on Sabbath evening at the mission 40

No. of Indian communicants  22

Baptisms of infants 10

Contributions to the schemes of the church $60.00


There has been very little using of liquor on the reserve during the winter in which respect there is e marked improvement compared with a year ago. The improvement is largely due to the removal of the half-breed element. The attendance et the class for women which is in charge of Miss Fetch and is held at different homes on the reserve, has been good and much interest is taken in it. The difficulty is to furnish materiel for work. A week night prayer meeting is held from house to house on the reserve. The comfort of teachers and pupils has been seriously interfered with by the unsatisfactory condition of the buildings, which are very cold during winter; but plans are being prepared with a view to the remedy of this difficulty before another winter comes on The number of  pupils on the roll is 35 with an average attendance of 31. The attendance during the pest winter has been very regular and the quarterly examination held during the last week in March showed that good work is being done. The conduct of the children has been very satisfactory and the school has been almost entirely free from sickness for which we are very thankful.


1899-1900

Crowstand - Neil Gilmour Missionary. Miss Fetch teacher. This is also a boarding school. There are 39 children enrolled. A new building has been erected at a cost of $3000, improving the conditions of work. There is a neat church six miles from the school but in the winter services are conducted in the home.


1900-01;

Rev. Neil Missionary, Miss Fetch teacher.

The school work this year has been quite hopeful. The attendance has been larger than ever before. Last autumn the Indian Department raised the number of grant — earners to 40 and very soon after we have the full number enrolled. For the last six months the average attendance of treaty and non-treaty children has been 46. The school was never more free from sickness of a serious nature. The new building continues to give satisfaction both as to comfort and convenience.


The conduct of the children has been excellent, their progress in the classroom quite marked and the general tone of the school higher than ever before. Insofar as the school work is concerned we feel there is greet reason for encouragement.


On the reserve, the advancement has been naturally, I think, slower and of a more intermittent nature. Old superstitions die hard and long-established customs are difficult things to deal with. But while these customs are still, to some extent, clung to we can see that for the people they are losing their old time meaning, and most surely, if it will be but slowly, the Gospel influence is superseding the other. During the winter months the morning service has again been held at the school instead of the church which is too far to one side. Afternoon services have been held regularly at Two Creeks going from house to house. Average attendance at morning service has been about 50 and the afternoon service 10 to 20 A children service is held at the school every Sabbath evening, There are thirty Indian communicants on the roll. Four were added during the year, 2 by profession of faith and two by certificate. Nine infants were baptized and one adult. There were two deaths. The sum of $56.00 was contributed to the schemes of the church but I must add that this was all contributed by the staff of the mission. 


During the year drunkenness has certainly decreased and the moral tone has keen better than formerly. While their have been many discouragements and some disappointments; yet there is reason for thankfulness to God for the measure of his blessing and favor we have enjoyed. The committee have received, with deep sorrow the news of the death of Mrs. C. M. Jeffrey the W.M.S. secretary for Indian work.

1901-02

Staff: Rev. N. Gilmour, Miss Jennie Gilmour, matron, Miss Sarah Dumber, Asst. Matron, Miss J. Petch, teacher, Miss Jessie Downing teacher, Miss Helen Wright, Matron, Miss G. McLeod, Seamstress. Mission work has been carried on along the same lines as formerly. The interest in the services has been well maintained, some driving from 8 to 10 miles to attend. There are 58 Indian communicants. Three were added during the year eight baptisms. The school work, both industrial and educational has been carried on during the year under quite favorable circumstances and encouraging advancement has been made. Our full enrolment of 40 children has been maintained and in addition we have had 7 non-treaty children in attendance. In addition to worship every morning and evening, a Sabbath evening and a week~night prayer meeting is held with the children. Speaking of the work as a whole, while there are certainly many things we would like to see different yet we must remember that we are dealing with a people who only a few short years ago were steeped in polygamy and idolatry, and there is reason to praise God, for the great change from darkness to even the light of morning in some cases.


1902-03:

There are three reserves side by side embracing over 70.000 acres of land. The population of the 5 bands does not now exceed 220. In the boarding school 47 children were enrolled. The Rev. Neil Gilmour for 6 years was missionary and Principal of the school and made an excellent record. There are 320 acres of land one the value of implements, stock supplies , etc., has grown so that Mr. Gilmour reports a financial gain in 6 years of $4,979.83. Mr. McWhinney who was Principal at Birtle is now in charge and we doubt not that he will maintain the good standing of the school. Staff: Rev; McWhinney BA Teacher & Principal, Miss Josephine Petch, teacher, Miss J. Gilmour, matron, Miss Sarah Dunbar, Asst. Matron, Miss McLeod, Sewing Instructress, Mr. Brigham, Farm Instructor.


1903-04;

Mr. McWhinney who took charge of the school in April 1903 speaks with kindly appreciation of the work of his predecessor Rev. Neil Gilmour. The condition of the school and the reserve afford as much encouragement as could reasonably be expected amongst the Indians with their past history. With a few exceptions they feel work now to be their duty and are making an honest effort to provide for themselves. Some of the younger men have worked for the entire year in railway camps l giving satisfaction. Now that the railroad has come, opening a market it has stimulated farming on the reserve. The women as well as the men have become industrious, and their homes are becoming really homelike.


Staff unchanged except Miss Fetch not mentioned, Miss McLaren successor. Church services have been held throughout the year, and the attendance has been very satisfactory. Midweek services, as well as magic lantern views from "Pilgrims Progress" have been appreciated. Two communion l services were held at which 10 new members were admitted on confession of faith, making the total membership of 48. One man of 40 years of age stated that he tried to find satisfaction in Pagan customs but was now convinced that they were worthless. He no longer lived in them, but trusted in Christ as the only one who could save and satisfy. One adult and twelve children were baptized during the year. Pagan customs have practically disappeared and Pagan dances which have been causing trouble on other reserves, were banished by the Agent with the cordial approval of the chief. The school has been encouraging.There are 45 children present. The problem is not so much to give information, either intellectual or industrial as to build up a healthy moral tone, and develop the power of self control that will enable them to stand amid temptation. The chief drawback in school is not lack of ability, but lack of ambition to excel. The larger pupils spend part of each day in the school room and part in industrial work. 'The girls are given a thorough training in all departments of housework, such as cooking, baking, butter making, sewing, washing’ etc. The farm work steadily expanding. Last year 40 acres were under crop and garden. Oats yielded 80 bus. per acre, wheat 25 bus. while roots and vegetables were equally good.Twenty acres more are broken for crop during the present year. There are ten cows and 9 other cattle 4 horses, besides a number of pigs & poultry. Improvements in drainage

and root cellars were made during the year which have added much to the convenience and sanitary conditions of the school.


1904-05:

Rev. W. Mcwhinney, Principal, Miss McLaren, teacher, Miss J. Gilmour, Matron: Miss Sarah Dunbar Asst. Matron, Miss McLeod, sewing instructress Mr. A. F. Brigham, Farm instructor.


The advent of the railway has materially changed the conditions on this reserve. Contact with the outside world has materially increased the difficulties of the work, although hitherto the lndians have resisted temptation as firmly as could be expected.


Industrial

Over 200 acres of prairie were broken by the young men which will be put under crop next year. Others found steady employment in connection with the railway. Comforts seen in the homes give evidence that their earnings are being wisely spent.


Religious and moral:

Attendance has been usually good. Two young men haven made profession of faith in Christ and amongst many others there is manifest and deepening interest for the schemes of the church and a smaller sum for the repairing of our own church.

Hr. Mcwhinney writes recently: "I made a vigorous crusade against the all too common habit of gambling. I was not a little astonished at the support I received on every hand, which is evidence of growing stability of character". 


The school grant -earning number of pupils has been raised from 40 to 45 which is en important addition to our revenue. The year closes with 48 names on the roll. Five names were added but one has been transferred to Regina School.


The resignation of Miss Fetch on account of ill health was a serious loss, but her successor Kiss Mclaren is conducting the work with much acceptance. The progress which can scarcely be said to be rapid, is however good and substantial. Satisfactory results are being secured. The girls are being trained as housekeepers in all Its departments.


Mr. McWhinney states: At our last vacation the father of one of the girls told me with no little pride of the transformation his daughter had made in their home on the first day of her return." The industrial training points to one end, namely preparation for the discharge of duty associated with such homes as they are likely to fill. Every boy takes part in the farm work in the summer, as well as care for the stock in winter.


Building equipment:

Important additions have been mede to the equipment of the school, such as horse power, grain crusher, plough, seeder, double harness, democrat, roller, store room, playroom and reading room. The residence for the Principal is in course of erection. The whole interior of the school has been renovated by painting and paper hanging and some re-plastering.


Farm Produce:

The crop was excellent the wheat yielding 40 bus. and the oats 60 bus.per acre. About 3000 lbs. of dressed beef and 2000 lbs. of pork, as well as quantities of poultry were provided from the farm.


Religion:

The children attend Church and Sabbath school regularly for which preparation is made during the week. Every possible influence is brought to beer that will mould character in proper channels. One boy who will graduate this summer, during his holidays broke 20 acres of prairie which will be in readiness for cultivation when he leaves school in the spring.


1995-06

Staff unchanged.

The advent of the railway train has broken up the solitude that has brooded over the reserves from time immemorial, and has brought the civilization of the white men and of the Indian ( if the nomad can be said to have a civilization) into close proximity. Alas that the white man should at his first meeting with the red, spread-out in show the temptations before which many of the palefaces have fallen: How can the Indian stand before temptation of the billiard table and the saloon. He may and does confess the wrong he is doing, but his confession stays not his course in tae path of ruin. This is what specially is trying our missionary and his fellow workers at the Crowstand sc.hool Thaey are seeing some of the Indians falling very low, They  would fain lift them up, but to what purpose is their effort when the temptation is so near and strong? What is to be the ultimate result? The missionary answers that while doubtless some will fall, the Indians, as a people, will emerge from the temptation stronger and better than before.


Still the work has its encouragements. The Indians are a church going people being, with a few exceptions, regular in their attendance. The average at the three Sabbath services is 48 and 30 respectively. There are thirty families and thirty-seven communicants connected with the mission.


The school is the brightest part of the work and yet one anxiety presses itself on the staff: how will the pupils stand the necessary strain when they leave the school and go back to the Reserves, there to face all the temptations which lure them back to Indian life.


Little difficulty is experienced in finding recruits for the school as the parents begin to realize the advantages of the education the school affords and often send their children without being asked. The farm contributed not a little towards the support of the school.  A field of 23 acres yielded 35 bushels of wheat per acre. Besides the farm supplied 1400 bushels oats and 150 of barley. A granary was built at a cost of 275 dollars. 


The number of names on the school roll last quarter was 49 and the average attendance 40.46. 14 pupils are in standard 3; six in standard 4, an& 5 in standard 5.


1906-07:

Staff change- Miss Medd succeeds Miss McLeod.

Mr. McWhinney in his report of work on the reserve calls attention to its varying success, now the sky is black with discouragement, again it brightens and God‘s presence is felt to be so very near. The growing crops need both the dark and the rainy days and the bright sunshine of the Christian worker whether among Indians or Canadians, who is to grow in grace must feel his own helplessness before he can rejoice in the power of his Lord. The report makes no claim of anything new to tell. The saddest part is indeed far too old and common. It is that by far the strongest influence which opposes the advancement of the Indian towards Christ Jesus is 'that of the white man with his drunkenness and his lust. Never did the Indians trust their missionary as at present and he is convinced that they desire to live better lives but alas, so many of them fall under the temptations that beset them.


What is the best safeguard against the poolroom and other evils? Undoubtedly the Gospel of our Lord, but this Gospel works at its best as it turns all the home influence towers the right. 


For years the missionary on the Cote Reserve has eagerly sought for the conversion of Chief Cote. For years the Chief held aloof from connections with the Christian church. At last he has yielded.


Before the last communion service he sought the missionary and asked to be admitted to the membership of the Christian church, and the missionary believes that he is earnestly desirous of living a life becoming to the Gospel of Christ.


The work of the school under the guidance of Miss McLaren was very satisfactory. So apt are these pupils that those coming in contact with them regard them as scarcely inferior in ability to white children. Their inferiority shows itself more in their lack of ambition to hold to, and excel in any particular line, than in acquiring general knowledge. In the matter of staying power the Indian shows himself at his worst. 


While some instances of moral courage among the pupils won the hearty Commendation of their teachers, the sorrowful admission is added that too many of them yield much too readily to every evil influence. Yet on the whole it is their belief that the moral tone among the girls is improving.


Here as elsewhere the question is raised as to what should be done with the pupils when they leave school. Mr McWhinney is incline to think that the success of the File Hills Colony gives the answer, and that such a Colony should be begun on every reserve or perhaps that two reserves might be joined for this purpose and have e Colony between them.


Crop yields: Oats 40 bus- per acre, wheat 40, and barley 80 bus. The herds provided 2000 pounds of beef and 350 pounds of pork for the school table and in addition $90 was realizes from pork sold.

Stock - 31 cattle, 7 horses, pigs and poultry. A new poultry house has bees built and paid for out of school funds.

Attendance 49 pupils.


1907-08

No change in staff.

During the year the kitchen and dining room were painted. The Department supplied the school room with new desks and blackboards. It has also contributed $600.00 towards building a new wing to be used as a hospital and isolated rooms for cases of infectious diseases. The W.F.M.S. completed the wing at a cost of §200.00. Enrollment at the close of the year - 53 pupils. Discharged - 2. Transferred to other schools -2. Families connected with mission - 23. Communicants 22.


1908-09: No report.

Staff: Mss M. Cote succeeds Miss Medd as instructress.


1909-10: No report.

Miss Hill succeeds Miss Cote as instructress. Change of policy re industrial schools.


1910-11:

Staff: Rev. Wm McWhinney, principal, Miss A McLaren teacher; Miss J. Gilmour matron; Miss S. Dunbar Asst. Matron; Miss F. Hill seamstress; Mr. Geo. Coppin, Farm Instructor.



1911-1912 to Feb. 28.

Staff: Rev.McWhinney; 'Miss A. McLaren; teacher, Kiss J. Gilmour, Matron; Miss S. Dunbar, Asst. Natron; Miss S. A. Windell, Seamstress; Mr. Alex Brener, Farm Instructor;


Agricultural Progress.

The Indian women soon focus that there was real value on the spot when the threshing outfit of the white farmer has been moved and they exploited it much to their own profit. Similarly, the Indian was attracted by the rapidity with which a few dollars could be earned on the harvest field, and tried his hand at the work. Meanwhile the schools of the various churches has been training the Indian boys to do all kinds of farm work and teaching them that careful farming provides the means of making a comfortable home, and opens the way to wealth. Some learned the lessons much more quickly than others; and by showing what an Indian could do, stirred up the slower members of the tribe to make an effort to, in this way to secure comforts sod luxuries, which were beyond the reach of the hunter when his occupation was at his best.


Mr. McWhinney reports that the industrious Indians on the Crowstand reserve are continually increasing, induced to this by seeing that good farming leads to moneys and home comforts. It used to be a common saying that time has no part in an Indian’s contract that the work might as well be done tomorrow as today. Evidently the running of the plowshare through the soil and the yellow wheat springing up in its train, is impressing on the Indian a lesson as to the value of time as is shown by an Indian's remark overheard by Mr. Mcwhinney during the strain of the lest threshing season, which was that "the engineer was too slow in moving". Winter threatening before half the crop is threshed may well impress upon the most stolid of mankind the necessity of filling every moment full of useful work. The larger crops result in better food, better health and a new ambition for improvements along all lines. Mr McWhinney says that women who, eight years ago were unkempt sos careless of appearance, now come out well dressed and neat


Moral Progress:

ls moral progress keeping up with this outward improvement? Our missionaries would, with some reservations, answer yes", However, all the old evils are with us still. The curse of the intoxicating cup shows itself on every reserve. The social evil, which has laid its blighting touch on every race of men, is all too common among these Indian homes, but it is gradually passing away before the advance of Christian sentiments. ls it merely that the Indians are gaining strength in the struggle to resist the allurements of drink and sin even more debasing. This may in pert explain the higher moral tones but only in part. Alongside the outward progress there is a progress marked by the growth of the communion roll at so many of our missions. So far as all on these reserves who profess faith in Christ are drawn from those who have attended school. The teaching of the missionary and of the missionary workers of all kinds (and they are not all missionaries) have influenced those young lives and drawn them to a new source of healing and strength. 


The schools on various reserves have had s prosperous year. Most of the buildings are filled to their utmost capacity and several are too small to accommodate the pupils who are eager to enjoy the advantage they offer.


1912-13:

No change reported in the staff.

The services have been held at three places, namely Crowstand mission, two Creeks and at the Reserve church. Mr. McWhinney is the missionary. There are 27 families represented. There have been 5 infant  baptisms during the year and 2 adults. There are 46 scholars 27 attending the boarding school.


1913-14

No change in staff reported.

The most encouraging work among the Indians in this district is that carried on at Crowstand in Yorkton Presbytery by the Rev. W. McWhinney. From almost every point of view this mission is hopeful and if the   equipment is improved by the erection of new buildings already promised this mission will take a foremost place among missions of its kind anywhere. During the past year the missionary is able to report a surplus of over $400.00 in the maintenance of the mission. Indian mission work is discouraging under any conditions, but here at Crowstand it is less discouraging than in most places and to some degree is fulfilling the expectation of the Church. If we are to have Indian missions at all, these two missions Mistawasis & Crowstand ought to be supported as they deserve, and missionaries given the warm sympathy of the whole church. There are 16 single persons, 36 families, 10 baptisms, 45 scholars, 42 communicants money raised far all purposes $ 235.00


1914-15

Rev. W. McWhinney, missionary, & Principal, Miss Mclaren, Teacher,

Preaching stations 3, teachers and officers 5, single persons 9, scholars 48, families 58, infants 6, communicants on roll 40, money raised for all purposes $ l88.00. General report on Indian work

(excerpts)

The Indians are increasing in Canada owing to better sanitary conditions in the schools and on the reserves. There are in the Dominion altogether 110,000 Indians 34 tribes being in the Western Country. The W.M.S.M have 3 boarding schools, 6 day schools and do mission work on 12 Reserves. We have about 500 children receiving instructions in our schools. Experience teaches that best results are obtained in the boarding schools chiefly owing to the nomadic life of the Indians.

The two great detriments to successful work among the Indians are drink the white man's evil and potlaching which is a system of gambling. These cause misery and poverty.


The Indian Dept. recently passed a law against it and is having it enforced. 290 bales of clothing valued at $18,000, have been sent to Indian schools during the past year. The freight charges amounting to $429.39 have been refunded by the Government.

1915-16:

Rev. W. McWhinney, Missionary & Principal; Matron, Miss Sarah Dunbar; Teacher - Miss McLaren. preaching stations, 38 families 6 baptisms, 5 teachers and officials, 40 scholars, 48 Communicants.

Raised for all purposes $189.00 


New regulations for Indian schools:

  1. No money in future shall be spent on buildings and farms or equipment by the church.
  2. That the upkeep of all such buildings, farms and equipment whether owned by the church or the Government, shall be assumed forthwith by the Government.
  3. As soon as possible all the properties or assets owned by the church shall be taken over by the Government on terms mutually satisfactory.
  4. That in order to save the Government from extravagant management, a maximum expense for maintenance may be fixed beyond which the church will assume responsibility.
  5. All appointees by whomsoever appointed shall be satisfactory to the other party to the transaction.
  6. That all principals, matrons, teachers and farm instructors be appointed by the church.
  7. That the salaries of principals, matrons and teachers in boarding schools be provided by the church.
  8. That the salaries of teachers in day schools, farm instructors and of all employees not otherwise provided for be assumes by the Government.


1916-17

Staff: Rev. W. McWhinney; teacher, Miss A. E. Walker; Matron, Miss S. Dunbar; Elders (3) 1. Alexi Coldwell, 2. - 3. - W.M.S. Mission fields ~ Bear Stream, Prairie Queen, Silver Creek. Grand total raised for all purposes $283.00.

Under supervision of Mr. McWhinney the farm was operated during the year and the results were goes. 

An auction sale of all the stock and other equipment and any of the buildings not required on the farm was held and netted our Society over $5800.00.


The new school will be known by the name of Cote Improved Indian Day School. It opened in December 1916, after a delay of one year, with 29 pupils and with the prospect of 49 in warmer weather.


It was almost impossible to harvest the crop as so many of the young men have enlisted. Three Elders were ordained. Few white men take their duties more seriously than these Indian elders.


There were 6 additions to the communion roll and the weekly collections have been double those of my previous year.

1917-18:

No change in staff.

Bear Stream, Prairie Queen, Silver Creek - 30 families 12 baptisms. Grand total raised for all purposes $401.00

A steady advance has been made towards a higher standard of living and that the attitude of the older Indians who are still opposed to our work has undergone a decided change. The influence of the school children is doing much to better the conditions in the home life.


We have between five and six hundred Indian children in our schools who are receiving not only a secular and industrial education but are being trained in things spiritual amid a Christian environment by those who try to commend the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


1918-19:

Rev. W. Mcwhinney, missionary and principal; Miss Dunbar, matron; Miss Fox, Teacher; 5 Elders. 5 preaching stations. 49 families 61 communicants. $452.00 raised for all purposes.


Several of our schools have been in quarantine owing to the epidemic of influenza. The staff and pupils have suffered in consequence, but we are thankful to report that there have been very few fatalities, among the school children owing to good care and proper sanitary arrangements. The Indians on the reserve were not so fortunate and many lives have been lost.


1919-20

 No change in staff.

Rep. Elder - John Kitchemonia. Preaching station - 3. Families 49. S. S. scholars 15. Total raised by mission $543.00. Received by treasurer for schemes of school $226.00.


Indian Work is carried on at twenty different centres by the Presbyterian Church. We minister partially to about 40 reserves with an aggregate of about 4500 Indians under our care. 


The Government pays for the maintenance of pupils in our boarding schools and our W.M.S. is responsible for the salaries of the staff, except a nurse whose salary is paid by the Government. 


The teachers in our day schools are paid by the Govt. also.Our W. M. S. provides clothing for school children also warm clothing for aged and infirm adults on the reserves. infants  outfits are sent for young children. We feel that the time is opportune for starting an industrial school that the boys may be taught manual training and given a chance to learn a trade as all are not fitted to be farmers.


1920-21

No change of staff.

Rep. Elder - Campbell Shingoose. Preaching stations - Cote Reserve. (Ind.), Bear Stream, Silver Creek. Communicants 49. Money raised $595. S S. Scholars  21.


Indian work in Canada is as truly foreign mission work as that carried on overseas and as such is of slow development. Children of seven or eight years, many from homes of pagan superstition are placed in our schools for a period of about ten years and it is on the influence of these children's' lives on their parents that we are building our hopes for the future of our Indian work in Canada. It has been truly said, "A little child shall lead them". 


The greatest need in Indian work today among all generations is to follow graduates to their homes after they leave school. It is the duty of the church to see that a suitable place of worship is erected on each reserve and that proper personnel and  equipment is given to maintain it. A practical farmer should be provided and special attention given to the young men leaving school, giving instruction and guidance in farming operations.


1921-22:

W. Mcwhinney, missionary; Mrs. Marshall - teacher; Mrs. McMillan matron; Rep. Elder C. Shingoose. 4 preaching stations - Cote Reserve, St. Philips, Bear Stream (white), Silver Greek (white).

Grand total raised for all purposes $380.


The school work on the Cote Improved Day School has continued to bear out its good promise of five years ago. Such regret is expressed in the retirement of Misses Dunbar and Fox. Their places are being ably filled by Mrs. Marshall and Mrs. McMillan. Mrs. Marshall brings to the school a ripe experience in Indian Work and a deep interest in the highest welfare of the children. The presence of these 2 workers assures the continuance of good work. Attendance has greatly improved on this and other reserves. Compulsory school laws enforced by the Government, are proving a benefit. This increased regularity makes for more efficient work and more satisfactory results. 


1922-23

Mr. McWhinney, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs.McMillan, Elder - C. Shingoose. 4 preaching stations as above. 250 persons under pastoral care, 50 scholars in S.S. & Bible class. $379.00 raised for all purposes. A most successful year is reported, under the capable management of Mrs. Marshall. The interest of the children continues and the parents uphold the teacher in discipline. The inspector compared the school work very favorably with other non-English schools in the west. Services are conducted regularly in the church and a goodly number of people attend. A year ago the Indians agreed to become responsible for a small part of the missionary's salary thus taking the first step towards self- support. Indian W.M.S. continues to meet monthly for devotional exercises and sewing work.


1923-24

Mr. Mcwhinney, Sec~Treas.; Mrs S. Marshall, teacher; Mrs. McMillen, matron; C. Shingoose, Rep. Elder. & preaching stations, Cote Reserve (Ind.}, Silver Greek, Bear Stream, St..Philips, Doyle.

Total under pastoral care - 400. Money raised $692.00


The school maintains its past fine record. School inspectors report satisfactory results. Bible teaching is regular. The Regina Provincial fair found Cote pupils among the prize winners. Church attendance is good and interest growing. Health conditions and industrial advance is also good. Greater progress could be made on this, as on other reserves if the drink evil could be banished.


1924-25:

Rev. W. McWhinney, Mrs. S. Marshall, teacher; Mrs. Fraser, matron. Preaching stations. Cote (Ind.) Silver Creek, Bear Stream, St. Philips, Doyle, Poplar Point. Rep. Elder -C. Shingoose. 325 individual under pastoral care. $501.00 raised for all purposes.


The school and mission have advanced under the splendid management of Rev. W. McWhinney. The day school work is being carried on most acceptably by two very capable workers, Mrs. S. Marshall, teacher and Mrs. D. R. Fraser, matron. We are very grateful for the clothing received. It enables the children to meet the cold winter. The aged and infirm have also been provided for. We expect all to pay something for the clothing if they are able.


Much credit is due to our Indian Agent for the way he has stimulated industry and with a firm, yet kindly hand has sought the Indian Welfare,


1927-28: 

Cote Day school. Rev; W. McWhinney, Sec-Treas. and missionary Mrs. D.R. Fraser, teacher; matron.

This missionary is in charge of two stations. The principal one is Cote, where there is a comfortable little church. The other is at Keeseekoose Reserve where the services are held in the houses.

One very encouraging feature of the work during the past two years is the number of young people who have been attending the church services and showing an interest in the work. The health of the people has been good. The government nurses visit the reserve twice a year, staying from two to four weeks as the need requires. 


The average attendance of the school is 20.5. Under Era. D@ H. Fraser, the classroom work has been of a high order, but owing to her serious illness during the last two months the work has been m greatly disturbed.


The pupils all receive a warm midday meal, the materials for which are provided by the government. A good deal of visiting is done on the reserve by the staff. 

The Indian women of Cote have an active W.M.S. Auxiliary, with the following officers, Mrs. J. Kitchemonia, Pres., Mrs. Jessie  Shingoose, Mrs. Roy Whitehawk. There was a membership of 12 and the amount sent to Presbytery was $90.00.


1928-29

Rev. W. McWhinney, Missionary & Sec-Treas.; Mrs. D. R. Fraser teacher; Mrs. R. P. Roy, matron; Auxiliary officers - Pres. Mrs. John Kitchemonia, Sec. Mrs. Roy Whitehawk, Mrs. R. F. Roy. Membership 15. Funds sent to Presbyterial $125.40.


1929-30:

Rev. E. McWhinney,Sec-Treas. & Missionary; Mrs. R.P.Roy, Matron; Mrs. D. R. Fraser, Teacher; Rev. McWhinney continues his successful supervision of the work at Cote school. The attendance during the year has stood at about 30 and at the close of the year there are 11 girls and 22 boys in attendance. Two or three girls have been transferred to File Hill Residential School, and a number of new pupils have been admitted. There is a very considerable aversion now, as in the past on the part of the Indian parents to sending their children to a school so far away that they can see them only once or twice a year. Since the buildings of St. Philips Boarding School, five miles away, there is greet temptation for Indian parents to place their children in that school. While the bulk of the people remain pretty loyal to their own school, yet the present condition is bound to take some of our children away each year to be educated in the Roman Catholic school, and thus gradually deplete the numbers in connection with our mission. It is to be hoped that very soon action will be taken to put our educational work here on a parity with that of the R. C. church.


At present we have seven or eight children lodging and boarding at Cote from Monday until Friday, but the accommodation and equipment for doing this is altogether inadequate. We need proper accommodation for lodging and boarding 12 - l5 who are not in a position s to attend the day school and whose parents do not want to send them away to a distant boarding school.


The health of the pupils has been good of course there are the usual epidemics of colds, with some cases of sore eyes and one or two cases of scrofula.


Mrs. Fraser continues to do excellent work in the classroom and has succeeded in building up a very fine sense of honour and truthfulness amongst the children. In general deportment and moral tone there has been a very decided upward movement in recent years. While the contact with home life acts sometimes as a retarding influence on the work of the school, yet there is also to be considered the reflex action of the school through the pupils upon the home life. Religious instruction forms a very important part of each day's programme. Mrs. Roy who came into the work as a matron a year ago has quite fulfilled our expectations as to the good work she would do in that position.


During the past summer a Delco lighting plant was installed at the Agency, and the school and all the Agency buildings thus have the benefits of an electric lighting system which is a greet convenience and a much greater safeguard against fire than coal oil lamps which were in use formerly.


Officers of the W.M.S. auxiliary: Mrs. John Kitchemonia, Mrs. Roy Whitehawk, Mrs. Campbell Shingoose. 14 members. Amount sent to Presbyterian $116.37.


1930-31

Staff: Rev. W. McWhinney, Mrs. Roy, Mrs. Fraser.W,M. S. Auxiliary: Mrs. W. H. Cote, Mrs. C. Coldwell, Mrs. Campbell Shingoose. Money raised $122.90»


During the past year Cote Improved Day school has maintained its good attendance of previous years and to the great satisfaction of Rev. Mr. McWhinney and staff, has had a very interesting and successful year. Four boys have past the age of 15 years and left school. Three girls have been transferred, two to File Hills and one to Birtle. This depletion has been more then counter balanced by the admission of nine new pupils.


The average attendance during the fell term was much lowered by the prevalence of whooping-cough. The present daily attendance ranges around 30 to 35. Each year there is noticed e greater aptitude for the work of the classroom. This perhaps, is largely due to the fact that most of the pupils are the children of parents who have attended school previously. The work of the classroom in an Indian school is still hard, but as the stolid indifference to school work disappears and interest grows the task becomes easier.


Special attention is given each day to religious truth, and moral training is taught from the practical application of these principles in the every day occurrences in and around the school.


Five or six of the pupils who live a considerable distance from the school board and lodge in the school from Monday until Friday. “It is regrettable that each year our school is losing several boys and girls whose parents wish to send them to a boarding school, and because the R. C. Boarding School at St. Philips is so near they send them there.


1931-32

Rev. W. McWhinney, principal & Sec-Trees. Mrs. Fraser as teaches and Mrs. Roy as matron continue to do faithful and efficient work in the Cote Improved Day School, which has an enrollment of 29 pupils. The financial difficulties through which the country is passing has effected our Indians as well as others and they have found it difficult to provide as formerly for their families. On this account quite a number have been drafted from our school to File Hills and Birtle boarding schools. This has lowered our attendance somewhat. Three or four boys from Keeseekoose reserve are boarded at the school from Monday to Friday, otherwise they would have gone to St. Philips R.C. Boarding School,

The health of the pupils has been good. Once or twice a year the Government nurse gives e very thorough inspection of the pupils to detect any trouble in the eyes, ear or teeth. We ere pleased to notice a more conscientious desire to live up to the best ideals in regard to truthfulness and purity in thought and act. One of the boys promised to bring an evergreen tree on a certain morning for Christmas decoration at the school. Various things hindered him and his mother suggested that he leave it off till next day. "No", he said, "I promised Mrs. Fraser I would have it for her this morning, and I am going to do it even if I am late for school”. About 10 a.m. he arrived with the ever green tree.


Each day in the class room a certain period is given to Bible lessons and religious instruction generally. At Christmas time both parents and children enjoyed very much their annual Christmas tree entertainment with its gifts and lunch for all. 


When all is considered we have had a very good year in the Indian congregation. The attendance has kept up to or in excess of previous» years. In the spring there was  a church membership class conducted for several weeks and as a result some of the older school boys made profession of faith in Christ by uniting with the church. Since then, notwithstanding many hindrances, they have made a good showing of their profession.


Each year the Week of Prayer is observed and well attended by the congregation. During the winter Sunday-night meetings are held where the younger Indians themselves ere encouraged to take charge of the meetings and take part in various ways. In doing this, Indians respond l much more readily than white people. Last winter I discovered one Sunday night that I could not he et the meeting the next Sunday, so without any warning; I named a certain man that I wanted to take charge of the meeting, one two or three others who were to speak or reed the scripture lesson. As far as I knew none of them had ever done this before Next Sunday night they were all on hand and took their part in a most credible way. There is a growing sense of what Christian conduct should be and a tendency to frown down what is unseemly. Of course there is still a certain amount of drinking and gambling and at times almost epidemic.


The health of the older Indians is good as a rule, although there is an occasional case of tuberculosis, but these are becoming more rare. The Indian Agent, Era McKenzie, and his staff are sympathetic towards our work and they are ready to help wherever possible. The W.M.S. auxiliary still maintains its useful place, holding its monthly meetings as usual. A Baby Band was organized two years ago acc recently there has been a mission Band started.

W. M. S. Auxiliary Mrs. W. H. Cote, Pres. Mrs. C. Shingoose, Mrs.. C. Caldwell, Sec.-Treas. 


1932-33

Rev. McWhinney, Principal, and Missionary, Mrs. R. F. Roy, matron, Mrs. D. R. Fraser, teacher, W.M.S. Mrs. W. H. Cote, Pres. Mrs. G. Caldwell, Sec. members 11. Sent to Pres. $56.58.

The year 1932 began with 27 pupils on the roll, 22 boys and five girls. for the fall term there were 31 names on the roll, 21 being boys and ten being girls. The great difference in the number of boys and girls in attendance is owing to more of the girls then boys transferred to boarding schools. During the fell term three pupils had a perfect record of attendance, not having missed a single day.


It is so easy for an Indian father, who is not fond of exertion, to send his boy to look for a horse, and consequently the boy is kept home from school needlessly. This is something that the teacher, the Indian Agent, and the missionary are contending with constantly. Yet, in most cases it is encouraging to know the effort made by some parents to have their children at school every day. I am pleased to report that there seems to be a growing sense of honour and truthfulness amongst the pupils and their conduct in general is steadily rising in moral tone. The health of the pupils has on the whole l been good, only one death having occurred amongst the pupils in the past year. Considerable credit for the good health of the pupils is one to the teacher, Mrs. Fraser, and the matron, Mrs. Roy for the watchful care exercised over the pupils while in school. Any small hurt or ailment is quickly noted and checked before it gains dangerous proportions.


At the present time almost all the pupils are the children of pupils who themselves have been in school, and the difference is seen in the readiness with which the children take to school work and their aptitude to learn. Each year, the pupils of this school capture several prizes for writing, drawing or beadwork of some kind, at the Provincial Exhibition at Regina.


The Indians on the reserve have felt the pinch of hard time as well as others but in many ways they are much better off than white people since they have no taxes to pay, no mortgages on their land and have free medical attention. Crops have been very fair, but owing to low prices those who are farming have little or no balance after expenses are paid. Then the younger men who depend on making considerable money working out during harvesting and threshing are deprived of this source of income.


Supplies of clothing have been very small during the past year but I have been using this experience to incite the people to depend upon themselves rather than upon others. We have managed to keep the children who are in school pretty well clothed .During the last few years considerable building of new houses has taken place, the Indians being aided in this from funded money. This has enabled those who desire to live in much more comfortable and sanitary surroundings. Church attendance has kept well up to the record of previous years and the moral tone is improving.


1933-34:

Mr.W. McWhinney, missionary & principal; Mrs. Roy, matron; Mrs. Eraser, teacher; W. M. S. Mrs. W. H. Cote, Pres.; Mrs. C. Coldwell, Secretary.


1934-35

Rev. McWhinney, principal; Mrs. Fraser, Teacher; Mrs. Roy, matron; W. M. S. Mrs. W. H. Cote, President, Mrs. Chas Coldwell, Secretary, 15 members. $33.75 sent to Presbyterial.


In submitting this report for the year 1934, we cannot point to any particular outstanding occurrences, but are pleased to be able to state that favorable conditions of the work noted in past years still continue. Health of both old and young has been good. Two middle-aged women passed away after lingering illnesses, and one aged women also died in the autumn, three or four small children passed away as a result of some form of tuberculosis or pneumonia.


Old customs die slowly amongst the Indians, but we find that the people are more willing each year to listen to reasonable advice from the missionary. Owing to the great demand elsewhere, a very small amount of clothing supplies have been received during the past two years, and being warned in the fall that they must try hard to depend upon their own resources, the Indians have responded in a very commendable way. The returns to those who are farming have been fairly satisfactory during the 1934 season. Others by sale of wood and hay manage to provide for their needs very well.


The attendance at the services of worship continues to be very good. One of our elders having become much enfeebled by age and unable to attend to his duties, two additional elders were elected and duly installed. A son of one of our elders and a senior pupil of the Cote school has developed his musical ability to such an extent that he is able to be church organist. The W.M.S. auxiliary does helpful work on the reserve and also assists in the larger work of the society. There is also a mission Band and a Baby Band in operation


At the beginning of the year there were 20 names on the roll of the school. During the year there were five new pupils admitted and one discharged. Constant pressure from the teacher, the missionary and the Indian Agent has maintained a fair degree of regularity of attendance. At the present time we have some pupils who are the third generation of educated Indians, and the effect is seen in the greater progress they make, compared with the children of those who have never been in school. Not only are theses children learning the ordinary subjects of the school studies but are having their minds stored with scripture passages and bible truths. Several children whose homes are too far away to attend as day pupils are housed and boarded at the school from Monday until Friday.


A day school on a reserve cannot show such spectacular results as the residential school but at the same time that the day school is trying to lift the boys and girls to a higher plane of living, it is also, through them, lifting the character of the homes. Hence the results obtained are more apt to be permanent when the pupils leave school and make homes of their own. 


Much credit is due Mrs. Fraser and Mrs. Roy for the care they take of the health of these children and the effort made to instill into them right ideas of conduct.


1935-36

Mrs. R.F. Roy - Sec-treas. ; Miss Ruby Jamieson, teacher. W. M. S.

Mrs. W. H. Cote , President; Mrs. C. Coldwell Secretary.


1936-37

Mrs. H. Roy, Sec-Treas. & Matron; Miss Ruby Jamieson, teacher. W. M. S. Mrs. W. H. Cots, Pres.; Mrs. C. Coldwell, Sec.; Members 19 sent to Presbyterial $48.79.

The Dominion Board with the approval of the Saskatchewan Conference Branch and on the request of the Indians on Cote Reserve has decided to change the staff at Cote to a married couple, one of which should fill the position of missionary and teacher, while the other would occupy the position of matron.


1937-38

L. L. Bobbin, teacher and Sec-treas.; Mrs. L. L. Dobbin, Matron. W. M. S. Mrs. W. H. Cote (deceased) Mrs. G. Caldwell (killed); Mrs. Alex Whitehawk; Mrs. G. Coldwell, Treasurer. Membership 18; Sent to Presbyterial $37.57.


The general feeling about Cote reserve was that, if suitable persons were found, a man and his wife could do the most effective work on the reserve.


We have had a very satisfactory report during the year after the following appointments were made. On the recommendation of the advisory Committee of the Saskatchewan Conference Branch we nominated to the Department of Indian Affairs Mr. L.L. Dobbin of Wapella, Sask. As teacher and to have supervision of the work on Cote reserve and Mrs. Dobbin as matron.


1938-39:

  1. L. Dobbin, Sec-treas. and teacher; Mrs. Dobbin, Matron. 

W.M.S Auxiliary: Pres., Mrs. A Whitehawk; Secretary, Mrs. C. R Caldwell; Membership 15. Sent to Pres. $35.85. Mission Band: Mrs. L .L Dobbin, leader; Alex Cote, Pres., Baby Band: Mrs. Roy Whitehawk, leader 18 members.


At Kamsack a piece of community work known as the Homemaker Club is in operation with the promise from the Indian Department that a community hall will be forthcoming. The Indians are showing marked progress and development.


Twice during the year representation was made to the Dept. Of Indian Affairs at Ottawa when a delegation from all the churches concerned with Indian work careful and sympathetic consideration of the matter. We are glad to report that this has been granted, retroactive to January l, 1939.


1939-40

  1. L. Bobbin, teacher and Missionary; Mrs. Dobbin, Matron; 
  1. M. S. Auxiliary: Mrs. Alex Whitehawk, Pres., Mrs. C. Caldwell, Sec., membership 13; Sent to Presbyterial $41.58.


The year just closed will go on record as being one of the fullest years in community effort, in the history of this busy-mission school. It might aptly be termed as "Homemakers year,” for after the organization of a Homemakers' club in the month of February, a large percentage of the community activity on the reserve has revolved round that group. On one occasion Mrs. Dobbin demonstrated to the women by canning 50 quarts of peas and 26 quarts of corn and later some of the Indian women did very successful canning in their own homes. Later, when a carload of moose and deer meat came on, canning "bees" were again in order when Mrs. D. and the Indian women canned 144 quarts of meat one day and 85 quarts of the same the next day. 


The members of the Cote Auxiliary are a very faithful and capable group of women. A number of officers are also on the executive of our Homemakers club, but they always consider that the Woman's Missionary Society has first claim on their loyalty. Mrs. Alex Whitehawk, our president, who by the way, is also president of the Homemakers club is a very estimable type of Indian woman and we are very fortunate in having her as a co-worker. Mrs. Campbell Shingoose, our treasurer, is also among our most faithful officers.


Cote was one of the places that appreciated Mrs. G. Ernest Forbes message over the air on the world day of prayer.


The nursing problem on the reserves becomes quite acute at times and makes a great demand on one's time and energy. Dr. Wallace at Kamsack, is the official health officer for the lndians, but he must not be summoned until I have visited the patient, made an examination and found the case serious enough to require the doctor*s services. Faith in the old "Medicine Man" still persists even among the more enlightened Indians. In confinement cases the doctor is not often called upon, the Indian midwife usually being sufficient. 


Through the Homemakers club we are gradually improving the homes in order that they may be better equipped to rear the children in more cleanly and sanitary surroundings.


The Mission Band is doing well and meets each month on the same day as the women's Auxiliary. The picnic was held in June to which mothers and Baby Band members were invited.

The work of the Day School has progressed favorably throughout the year, the enrollment of Indian pupils being twenty-four. There are also sir white children enrolled. Three pupils were transferred to residential schools at midsummer. Tardiness and irregular attendance, which are pressing problems in an Indian school are being steadily overcome. Citizenship and vocational training have been stressed rather than scholarship. Gardening and agriculture are taught by means of practical experience in the school garden as well as in the pupils' individual plots. Experiments were carried out to determine the suitability of different varieties of grain. Good use is made of the manual training equipment in constructing small articles of furniture which are lacking in the homes. The girls have knitted mitts, scarves, and socks as well as doing plain and fancy sewing and have won prizes at both Regina and Prince Albert Fairs.


We are continuing the fight against the drink evil among our people but the difficulties are many, chief of which are the unscrupulous type of white settler living near the reserve. 


We wish to express our appreciation of the fine bales of clothing which never fail to arrive each autumn and still so badly needed.


1940-41:

L. L. Dobbin, missionary and teacher; Mrs. Dobbin, matron; W. M.B. Mrs. Alex Whitehawk, pres., Mrs. C. Caldwell, sec.; membership 12. Sent to Presbyterial $59.66. Mission Band, Mrs. Dobbin leader; Janet Friday, President.


The upward progress of the Indian race in the scale of civilization is necessarily very gradual and we must bear in mind that these Indians of our have been in contact with white civilization for the short space of only 60 years.


The year at Cote has been notable as one of re-adjustment to changes in government and church officials. Owing to the proximity of the school to the government buildings at Pelly Agency the changes among personnel have affected us considerably. However, we are happy to report that without exception all the new officials are appreciative of the work we are endeavoring to do as representatives of the Women's Missionary Society.


School work has progressed satisfactorily during the year, the percentage of attendance comparing favorably with many white schools. By means of a system of prizes, tardiness has greatly decreased and we are hoping to overcome this had habit in time.


While we do not neglect academic work, we do places great deal of importance on vocational training. The girls are taught plain sewing, quilt making, cooking and other household duties. The cooking and other worn taught is not done on a "mass production basis as in the case of the boarding schools, and is therefore more practical. The boys are given training in the construction of articles which will be useful in their homes. In spring and summer they are taught gardening, each pupil having his individual plat in the school garden and another at home. Religious instruction is given daily as well as on Sundays, special effort being made to eradicate many of the evils now prevalent among the grown~ups of this generation.


Other than a serious epidemic of the flu during February and March, there has been comparatively little sickness on the reserve. During this period Mrs. Dobbin, who in addition to her duties as school matron, has been acting as nurse on the reserve, was kept busy almost continually attending the sick, having made over 60 calls during the six weeks when the flu was at its hight.


Our Mission Band carries on with a membership of 20, meeting on the same day as the W.M.S. Auxiliary. The members made every nice crib quilt during the year, which sold for $1.50. 


Church services have been held regularly during the year except during the summer vacation. We are convinced that a resident minister or deaconess nurse is sorely needed on Cote's reserve. It is not possible to do justice to the spiritual welfare of these Indians while one's time is taken up with 50 or more children during the week. Rev. E. J. Rainey co ducted communion services in May and again prior to his departure at the end of June. We are deeply grateful to Mr. & Mrs. Rainey for their.kindly interest and co-operation in our work. We will indeed miss them.


Mr. Rainey‘s successor, Rev. W. J. B. Tate conducted communion services in October, and preached again in November, creating a very favorable impression at each visit. The usual big annual Christmas Tree and entertainment was staged as usual and was attended by over 3OOIndians. We have been wondering whether it would not be possible to conduct it on a smaller scale. Of course the Indians would be rather disappointed, but it is hardly fair to those upon whom the burden falls.


In spite of the call upon their time of other organizations in their midst, such as the Homemakers' Club and the Red Cross Society our loyal women of the W.H.S. Auxiliary have done faithful work during the year and have increased their givings to Presbyterial considerably above those of last year.


Cote Indians to the number of eight have responded to their country‘s call and are now in training. Several others have applied for admission to the R. G. A. F. A branch of the Red Cross has been organized and meets regularly for war work. The Junior Red Cross is also active. A generous donation from the funds of the Homemakers' Club was handed over to the Red Cross.


Times are rather hard on the reserve this year on account of near crop failure and the calls for clothing have been greater than usual. Still, thanks to those devoted women who so kindly remember our people each year, we have been able to supply most of the clothing needs of the children and others in need. I am constantly reminding them to take greater cate of the clothes they receive as the supply may be less in the future, due to the war.


1941-42:

L.L. Dobbin, teacher and Missionary; Mrs. Dobbin, Matron; W.M.S. Mrs. Alex Whitehawk, pres.; Mrs. C. Caldwell, Sec.; Membership 13. Sent to Presbyterial $53.65. Mission Band: Mrs. Dobbin leader; Janet Friday, pres. Membership 26.


The Indian Women's Auxiliary of the W.M.S. has had a particularly successful year. This year it was decided that all funds raised at treaty time would be donated to the Red Cross Society. Realizing that this meant less money for Presbyterial the women decided to hold, an old fashioned box social in the school, the returns from which together with those from a tea held in one of their homes, brought the total of W.M-S. funds raised for the year above the required allocation.


Increased attention was given this year to the devotional period in our meetings, the programs from the Missionary Monthly being always followed, with special stress placed on the monthly theme by means of a short talk. Much help and inspiration in the preparation of these talks was gained through the use of the "Upper Room" booklet. We have received many copies of this splendid magazine in the supply bales during the last few years, and judging from the inquiries we receive for additional copies, we feel that they are appreciated by the Indians.


The World's Day of Prayer was observed, with good attendance of members, some of whom offered special prayers. A number of women  from theAgency were also in attendance. Presbyterial meeting was held in Kamsack this year and our Auxiliary was well represented. The devotional exercises were conducted entirely by our Indian women, and many favorable comments were heard on the efficient manner in which each took part. 


The enrollment of pupils in the school has slightly increased, there being 30 on the roll at present. In the past it has been very difficult to persuade the Indian mothers to part with their children before the age of nine or ten years. We have done our best to persuade them of their mistake and at last feel that something has been accomplished.


We have two very promising young pupils, a boy and a girl at the present time in grade 7 and 8 whom I have recommended for the scholarship fund. The girl plans to be a nurse and the boy should make good in some position of leadership among his own people. The Indian people are badly in need of trained native Christian leaders. The state of warship in which they have grown up seems to have given them an inferiority complex and they look to the white man for leadership. p


Last year we reported that eight of our Indians had enlisted in the armed forces. This number has now grown to thirty-five, which is l believe a record. As the majority of these are married the amount of money coming to the reserve through separation allowances is considerable and improves financial conditions among them. It also gives. rise to a number of rather social problems which we must face.


Divine services have been held regularly each Sunday afternoon except during summer vacation. Rev. W.J.B. Bates of Kamsack who has been a great help with the pastoral work during the spring and summer months officiated at communion services, baptisms, etc. and also assisted frequently on other occasions. The ladies of Kamsack Auxiliary visited the school once during the year and kindly conducted divine services.


1942-43

  1. Maude Rodgers, teacher: Rev. Maguerite Corner, Missionary and Matron. W. M. S. Mrs. A. Whitehawk, pres.; Mrs. C. Caldwell sec.; Membership 16. Sent to Presbyterial $62.98. Mission Band, Hilda Cote,Pres. 


The new staff of the Cote Improved Day school desires to express I a deep sense of gratitude for the various ways in which the favor of our leader & master has been shown during the past half year. Coming to work with the Indian race for the first time with the added disadvantage of lack of any knowledge of the language of the people, many of whom, especially the older members of the tribe know little or no English, we have felt many times our position as "outsiders" and the work has been correspondingly difficult. Can we enter into their though-life, and do they understand what we are trying to do among them? We can only wait for the answer, perhaps for years.


The summer months passed quickly, our plans for a good visit in each home on the reserve upset chiefly by such “welcome" rains as had not been seen for years, thus making our anticipated walking trips impossible because of impassable roads. However, some twenty calls were made and it was encouraging to see the pleasure, even eagerness when a short period of worship was suggested. Doubtless this home visitation method is one of the best ways to reach into their hearts and become acquainted.


By order from Ottawa, the opening of school was postponed until October 1st. In most cases threshing, late and continued until December, and in some cases, illness at home have caused the attendance of pupils to be most irregular, and study therefore most unsatisfactory. An enrollment of 29 pupils with an average attendance of only slightly over 16 in the first term gives little promise of a successful year. We hope for better things in the new term.


Throughout the summer regular Sunday services were conducted which, judging by the gradual increase in attendance, were appreciated. However, when threshing began and was so delayed by frost until nearly Christmas the attendance gradually diminished again, almost to the vanishing point. However, signs are not lacking which point to improvement here also.


The Sacraments of the Lord‘s Supper and Baptism were dispensed ones, on the first and third Sunday in October respectively. Thirteen persons communicated and two infants were baptized. One Session meeting was convened and decision reached to administer these two sacraments at regular quarterly intervals.


A generous avalanche of bales was received in July. These were sorted during the summer and have gradually been distributed. The large number of toys, games, etc. and the general supplies of children's clothing made it possible to help Santa to give each child such a bundle of Christmas cheer as had never been seen, as well as supply enough dolls for every girl child on the Reserve and toys and games for all the boys.


Your two missionaries were responsible for four morning services in the Church at Kamsack during the minister's vacation and for an evening service in the Salvation Army in November. They also attended Presbyterial school for leaders in Kamsack in September and a meeting of the Kamsack Presbytery held in Margo in October where they were cordially received and made corresponding members.


The Cote Auxiliary of the W.M.S. meets in the school each month. The church in my community is used as a study book and an effort is being made to interest the members in the discussion method of study.


The Christmas program was varied this year by the introduction of a modest pageant of the Christmas story, brining to the eye and the ear the story as told in the Scripture of the visits of the shepherds and the Wise Men of the East and by the addition of a new phrase “Gifts of the Modern" suggesting some of the offerings which are acceptable to Him in present day life. Valuable help in the program was given by the pastor from Kamsack, Rev. Tate, who acted as interpolator in a manner not to be excelled, anywhere. Special thanks is due to Miss Rachel Tate for assisting in costuming the pupils in their first (?) venture of this type of entertainment.


The Cote Homemakers Club held regular monthly meetings throughout the year and engaged in the usual activities, including the making of quilts, layettes, various articles of clothing and other sewing, sick visitation, social community evenings, raising of funds for the Red Cross, Christmas boxes for the soldiers and lunch bags for the Christmas entertainment. Talks and demonstrations of baby care and feeding and care of children in sickness were much appreciated by the women. Four pairs of embroidered pillow cases were sent by the club to the Regina Exhibition of which two received prizes*


A special note of thanks was tendered to Mr Christianson, General Supt. of Indian Agencies for a generous bale of material for clothing and pieces for quilting. It is hoped that during 1945 a more successful effort may be made in gardening than in 1942 as well as in other aspects of community life.


1943-44

Lisbeth Robertson, teacher (formerly missionary from India) and sec-treas. Rev. Marguerite E. Corner, matron;


 Five months is not long enough to form a correct estimate of a Mission Field and its people. One needs a longer period to grasp the situation in its correct perspective. After the closing of the old Crowstand boarding school in 1916 the Department of Indian Affairs favored trying out a day school and so the Cote Improved Day school came into being 6 miles north of Kamsack. A school van would help to make it more of a success and perhaps they will get one after the war Some of the children live two and three miles away. The school enrollment is 31 besides the three children of the Farm instructor. The classes are from one to seven with the majority in grade one. They are all likable and interesting. Christmas is a season looked forward to and thoroughly enjoyed by the community. We practiced hard for the Christmas tree - some children here today and others tomorrow; but nobody was left out, and on the afternoon of the concert the Shingoose orchestra of violin, guitar and mandolin gave wings to the feet of the girls and boys in their drills with Christmas wreaths and allied flags ending up as last year with the Nativity, a lantern lighting up the manger scene. Mrs. Bryant, wife of the Indian Agent, brought gifts for for the wives and children of those in the Armed Forces and spoke of those who represented us overseas, some of them in Italy. Miss Corners had made up parcels for all the rest from the remains of last year's bales and Old Santa, who seemed to know the way to come to Cote Days school, presented all these parcels. The Homemakers had lunches prepared for all those who were present and for those who might call within the next few days. Rev. Tate, of Westminster United Church, Kamsack, was chairman and had everything go off in good order. We are indebted to the Tate's for many kindnesses in the past years.

(The above is from a report by Miss L. Robinson)


To be three or four people during the course of one year is a difficult task in itself, but to report on it in any systematic way seems well night impossible. For the first half of 1945 I was teacher, minister and Janitor; for the last six months I was matron and minister. Teaching in this school, as I reported last year, is an extremely discouraging occupation. Irregularity and unpunctuality are two of the greatest obstacles in the way of progress and they are very serious as may be seen from the fact that the average attendance for the year 1942-43 was just about half the enrollment and the best attending pupil was late 105 times in the nine months. To the difficulties of teaching under such circumstances, is added the necessity, since no janitor is provided, for the teacher to bel personally responsible for the cleaning of the school, heating it in winter (by means of a cordwood furnace) and seeing to the planting, weeding and reaping of a garden large enough to supply all the vegetables required for the children’s dinner during the term, this in addition to supervising the children'e individual plots. As matron my days and often nights have been fully occupied with the housekeeping for the two of us, the planning and preparation of the school children's dinners and the supervision of the girls who help with them ,and the housework and the housework involved the care of the 7 staff rooms in the building, along with seasonal canning and the distribution of clothing. Lacking both training and experience in this type of work and finding it absolutely impossible to secure domestic help, my time and energy have been steadily consumed with very little to show as results. throughout the year I have tried as minister to carry on the evangelistic work in the conviction that it is of permanent and paramount importance but have been entirely unable to give it anything like first place in the midst of so many other pressing demands; Public worship was conducted regularly each Sunday, except for three weeks during my holidays, with regular quarterly communion services and a special service on Good Friday. Three babies were baptized, seven funerals were conducted and one wedding solemnized.


The W. M. S. Auxiliary held nine meetings and succeeded in raising its allocation, though most of this came from money making projects rather than through free will offerings. The study books and Missionary monthly were uses as guides at the meetings. 


The Mission Band met during school hours every second week with the teacher as leader, using the regular study book.


No Sunday school has been organized. We experimented during the second quarter with the home study project of the Board of Christian Education, but adequate supervision was impossible and it was difficult to gauge the amount of study done. The teacher has, however, carried on daily religious exercises and instruction during school hours. Except for the school and W. M. S. meetings scarcely any of the others are being reached at all by the Christian message. Even the most active Church and W.M.S. members apparently fail to see the implications of Christianity for daily life in such to us, obvious matters as truth, honesty, generosity, marital fidelity, sobriety, clean speech, etc. Even with an adequate staff it would require years of patient instruction and intimate contact to raise to any appreciable extent the spiritual level of the Indians on this reserve. At present with not even one person on the staff free to devote her time and energies to evangelism, progress along that line is almost imperceptible and if the field is neglected, what else matters? There is a tremendous need on Cote's reserve for the Good News of Jesus Christ in all its fulness. Can and will our Missionary Society meet that need?

The above is from a report by Rev. Marguerite E. Corner.


1944-45

Lisbeth Robertson, teacher & sec. Treas. Mrs. Winje - housekeeper Miss Bessie Banfell R.N. (stayed only one month)


Cote Indian Day school has had some changes in the year just closed. Rev. M.. Cromer left at the end of July to take charge at Woodnorth, Man. and we all felt the hollowness of farewell. She had been here two years The *from the land of pale blue snow, where its 99 below came Miss Bessie Banfell, Reg. Nurse, but she melted away in a month. She felt there was too great a need for nurses to stay where there was already some medical care. We are just six miles from Kamsack  where there is a hospital.


We were saved from despair by the arrival of hrs. Winje who had been with us for a while in 1943-44 and new in response to my S.O.S. came as housekeeper. Mrs. Winje has  very fine qualities of head and heart and hand, so we have been able to carry on and keep the doors open. I have the school and the church service and we both look after the bales. The children have a hot noonday meal. However we are all feeling desperately the need of an evangelist to get after the heads of the families and to be a leader to the young men who have left school - day or boarding school and come back to the reserve. One of the first things said to me in Cote by one of the woman was, "we need a man” and this may indeed be considered urgent. There are problems that no woman can solve. I have been told that some of those who were once Christian have gone back to paganism.


Sunday services rely very much for their support on two families, The Shingoose‘s and the Friday's, but we have had a few others as well and I am trying to get the elders to take part in the service. We are indebted to Alfie Shingoose, our organist. He attends regularly and plays well. 


The Shingoose orchestra also played at our Christmas Tree on Dec. 21st. It was more successful and colorful than anyone had hoped. We had a beautiful tree and what added to its beauty were the Christmas parcels wonderfully done up and adorned by the young people of Mission Bands C.G.I.T. and Sunday Schools in various parts of our Saskatchewan. There may be a war in the world but there is certainly also the leaven of good works. Some of the men made speeches. Mrs. Bryant, wife of the Indian Agent brought gifts for the children of the men on the reserve who are serving overseas. We are all grateful to Rev; Wm. J. B. Tate of Kamsack for taking the chair and cheering us all with his Irish wit.


The school has had much better attendance this year and the children seem to be making some progress. They at least know some world facts. We have a pack of Wolf Cubs who were invested at the Christmas tree. It was in the afternoon and they really looked very fine in their caps and scarves, navy blue sweaters and blue overalls. They put together the brosses of the Union Jack and Britannia herself appeared above it. I trust that they will become good citizens of the Empire. 


A great deal has been done for these First Canadians. I think that there is still one other thing that we must do, but certainly not in the matter of clothes. We have schools for the boys and girls which they attend until they are sixteen. There should be some form of training after that to fit them for some occupation so that they will not make a waste of what has been done for them. From the beginning of mission work in the foreign field that I knew, the girls were taught to teach almost as soon as they could read. No missionary in India teaches grade A. She has trained the Indian girls to teach Grades A and B, and on up though the grades. The Canadian Nurse has trained the girls and boys too who have gone from our schools how to take care of their own sick people. Boys are being trained as evangelists.


There are a number of Indian schools here in Manitoba and Saskatchewan would it not be possible to have a regular council of the Home Missionaries working in these fields who could meet once a year and arrange for and carry on Training Centres. There is not such a difference in languages. The Saulteaux could learn Cree and they all learn English. I am sure a unified work with training 5 centres would Bring results.



1947-48:

Miss Winnifred Johnson, teacher Miss Agnes MacDonald, matron and missionary; W.H.S. Mrs. Alex Whitehawk, Pres. Mrs. C. Caldwell, Secretary Mrs. M. Cote, Never a dull moment at Cote Mission, Kamsack writes Kiss Johnson. Monday C.G.I.T. Tuesday, visitors call; Wednesday, Bible Study, Friday, choir and orchestra practice; Saturday we go shopping and usually return with enough food and provisions to last a week. Sunday we take turns in preaching, and teaching Sunday school, so the time flies. Our other meetings during the week include the Homemakers, W.H.S. Mission Band etc. I wish you could have seen the crowd at choir practice last night, twelve of us singing hymns in one room 20 musicians learning to play by notes in another room. (Teacher

G. Eggenschwiler, Agency Clerk)


Our school enrollment is increasing and I have 48 pupils in Grade l to 7, with 20 or more waiting to be admitted, which means that we will have to enlarge our premises and become a two roomed school. The Christmas concert was a great success. Every little child came up to receive a gift, so Cote was well looked after. 


Miss MacDonald says The services at Church have been well attended. Seven girls have professed to accept Christ as their Saviour and three of them have already joined the Church. There have been 19 baptisms this year and the mothers are very interested. We have Sunday school during the winter and have been using a flannel graph to illustrate the Bible stories. 


The drink traffic continues to be a menace and creates the greatest problem we have, but our hope is in the Christian education of the children who will be the leaders of tomorrow.


1948-49

Miss Agnes MacDonald, matron and missionary, Miss M. Winnifred Johnson Sr Teacher; Miss Dillon, Jr. Teacher. 

  1. M. S. Mrs. A. Whitehawk, Pres. 

Mission Band, Miss M.W. Johnson, leader Geo. Shingoose , Pres.


The school at Cote Mission has now two rooms in operation with a total of 60 pupils enrolled and all grades from one to eight. They are lovable children and discipline is no problem. Miss Dillon has had has great success with handwork in the primary room, as they seem specially interested in this type of learning. 


The music and choruses at the Christmas concert were greatly enjoyed by a capacity audience. The women supplied and served lunch for the 300 in attendance and at the close old Santa was able to give each child a fine bundle of good things - mitts, scarves, ties, books,toys, etc., thanks to the wonderful bales we received. We have also received some very fine school books and other supplies for school library use from the Government. They are a great help and source of constant interest. 


The children receive daily bible instruction and also have a Sunday school lesson once a week. The national films come every week and are greatly enjoyed. We feel that our children and their noon meal goes a long way in supplying a good part of their daily needs. We also hope we are right in saying we note an improvement in manners and character habits as well as wholesome enjoyment in life. These things require constant training, but it brings us great rewards for our effort.


Miss Johnson. Miss Agnese McDonald, the matron of the school says, " Materially we have made progress - we have a new bathroom and a new furnace installed, new linoleum has been laid on our school dining-room and the passages; our school has increased and a new teacher added; the good attendance at church is maintained, 30 to 50 every Sunday; the W.H.S. and Homemakers meet once a month; we have visited every home on the reserve once or twice this year. we have left Christian literature and tracts and have prayed with people in their homes. All these things indicate a certain measure of success. Rev. Mr. Dixon of Kamsack, has come out periodically to administer the sacraments and is always willing to help us when we need him. Our church at Cote suffered a real loss this year in the passing of one of its most faithful members, who was also an elder ( Campbell Shingoose).


1949-50: No report.


1950-51:

Miss Agnes MacDonald, matron; Miss M.W. Johnson, Sr. teacher; Miss Russell, Jr. teacher.


W. M. S. : Mrs. A. Whitehawk, pres., Membership 11. Sent to Presbyterial $ 85.00

Miss Agnes MacDonald, the matron of Cote Day school in looking over the past year, finds much for which to give thanks. She says, "Our Sunday services have shown an average attendance of 40, the S. School has also been well attended. We have had several good religious films and missionary slides, thanks to Rev. Dixon of Kamsack and Rev. Dobson of Pelly. Our bible class and choir practice have been carried on with varying success.


The W. K. S. and Homemakers' meetings have been held once a month.The W.M.S. reached its allocation and sent two delegates to Presbyterial and as a result they came back and inspired the other members to donate a quilt to Moose Mountain Reserve, which was receiving supplies from Kamsack Presbyterial. The women had a quilting "bee" at one of their meetings and sent off the quilt which was greatly appreciated. The W.M.S. also united with the Homemakers and the church to send s donation of $50.00 to the Manitoba Flood Relief Fund.


A 25th anniversary service was held on June 11th when members of the W.M.S. took charge. Mrs. Roy Whitehawk, who remembered the first service of the Union (1925) and who had signed her name as a member of the United Church was in charge. Mrs. Campbell Shingoose, life member and treasurer of the W.H.S., read the scriptures and others took part.


We have been able to do quite a lot of visiting this year. We read the scriptures in the homes, pray with them and try to advise them on their problems, and in this way minister to them spiritually and materially. Our statistics this year show 12 baptism, 6 burials, and one marriage performed in Kamsack."


The young people of our reserve are still our big concern “writes Miss Johnson, Senior teacher at Cote. "It is so difficult for them to remain stable and Christian amid the temptations that are so continually around them on the reserve. One girl of whom we had high hopes found she could not qualify for the training course at Naramata and returned.to her old life on the Reserve. Two others who wished to get away from the Reserve were encouraged to go on with their schooling but only one of them was able to stay with it. She is doing well and has won high praise from all at her school. We pray God may use her to inspire others to follow her good example.


Our boys have formed a club and have enjoyed the work and the fellowship. The girls appreciate their C.G.I.T. but it has to be cancelled during the cold weather. The school attendance is large and there will be a new Day School opening in September. We have one Student in grade 9 (Correspondence Course) who is doing very well. She hopes to be a nurse and we are praying that she will in this mind and be steadfast in her work.


Our senior teacher, Miss Russel, was given a scholarship to attend a W.C.T.U. School of Narcotic Education held in Saskatoon. Since then we have studied the United Church course in our boys groups, followed by the W.C.T.U; This should be a good influence for the boys on the Reserve."


1951-52: No report.


1953-54

Miss Eleanor D. Graham, Comm.Worker. 

Dedication of Manse:

The outstanding event of the early part of the year was the completion of the manse and its dedication. On April 19th, Mrs. T.H. Sendall, our Saskatchewan Branch President, Mrs. W. Buceuk, Presbyterial President, Rev. E. Yoshikoa, Rev. J. M. Spence and Rev. J. Lougheed each contributed to a very fine service of dedication with a large audience attending. The manse is everything that could be desired as a home for your worker. I set out a few apple trees, some raspberry canes, strawberry plants, a few decorative shrubs and sowed the lawn with grass seed. We were fortunate in not having summer frost, so we had an excellent garden.


I tried so hard to get more families interested in gardening. The Homemakers Club took up the matter and we invited the local agricultural representative, who brought with him a horticulturist from Regina who spoke on gardening and showed pictures but the attention and response was most disheartening. However, this fall a mother who for years has had a very good garden told me that this winter when they could sell so little of their grain, she did not know what she would have done with her large family of twelve if it had not been for her garden supplies, much of which she had canned.


In June the Kamsack W.M.S. paid a visit to the manse with contributions of fruit for its shelves, and in July when I was attending camp they took the services on Sunday for me.


I attended and helped at the camp at Chrystal Lake early in July. The school principal and I had hoped that some of the school children would attend and we even offered to pay more than half their expenses but we could get no co-operation from the parents. Our Indian W.M.S. carried on through the year. They raise most of their funds by selling lunches on treaty day and at social functions, and this year shared a booth with the Homemaker's Club, at the school Field day.


The church continues to have only a small place in the lives of the Indians, with a small attendance except for something special. The splendid film "The King's Man” was well advertised but only about 25 came. The school principal is Sunday School Superintendent, but the attendance has been small. This fall I had three bible study talks in the senior room of this school and during the year have had 9 Mission Band meetings and 2 other meetings in the Jr. room. I was able to get over to the other school on this reserve, Hillside, for 5 meetings this fall. During the year I conducted 4 funerals and Rev. Spence baptized three children. I am happy to report the first wedding since I came. Rev. J. M. Spence performed the ceremony in the Church on November 27 and afterwards the special guests came to the manse for refreshments. l


Before Christmas a lot of time was spent in preparing the school children and family parcels. Not nearly enough mitts came in, but the Homemakers' Clubs ( a new one at Hillside) stepped into the breach and knitted the needed number. You should have seen the shining eyes of the grade one girls when they received dolls. On Dec. 20th the Sunday school put on a very good program in the church and the following Thursday evening the school again held an excellent Christmas concert.


1954-55

Miss Elenor D. Graham, Community worker.

The first two months of the year the new car was immobilized by storms severe weather and snow banks. I had to do my visiting either walking or hiring a team. I had two funerals in that time, one an elderly man in 30 below zero weather, when I froze two fingers and two toes, and the other an illegitimate child buried after dark ,using a flashlight.


We had quite a good attendance at the World Bay of prayer service held at the school. Some of the school children attended and a film was shown afterwards. 


Before Easter, at Mr. McKibbin's request, I taught the girls of the senior classroom to sew on the sewing machine, using the three machines in the manse basement, the one belonging to the W.M.S. and the two others to the Homemakers Club.


On August 16-20 we held a Vacation Bible School. We had difficulty getting the staff, but finally we were happy to secure Rev. and Mrs. Kenneth Murray of Pelly, who gave up some of their vacation time to help us , and two girls who had helped Ferne Graha with her vacation schools Fay Lang of Yorkton and Therese Artemko of Calder, fortunately, too Mrs.J. E. Cameron who helped me for 3 weeks arrived just in time to give us a hand. We registered 27 pupils and daily attendance was good 


They made their own little Hymn books and enjoyed their other handwork and classes. On Achievement night, at which the attendance of the parents was only fair they put on a program after which Hr. Eggenschwiler showed two fine films. One of the highlights of the year was attending the conference of Indian and Metis held in Winnipeg, Oct. 6 to 8. It was inspiring to be one of that group of about two hundred people (of whom about 50 were Indians and Metis) representing Protestants and Roman Catholics, Dominion and Provincial government officials together seeking solutions for problems. The afternoon were spent in Committees of which there were four, considering Education, Economics, Welfare and Health problems. I hope that greater knowledge, interest and understanding will produce a more adequate program and effort to help these people out of their pit.


During the year I attended a number of C.G.l.T. gatherings in other places and in response to a special invitation took five of the teen-age girls to a rally at Calder, but so far have not succeeded in getting a C.G.I.T. started here. 

This fall a group of five boys, accompanied by M . McKibben have been going into Kamsack to take part in Cub activities. I have had regular Religious Education classes in the two rooms of Cote's No. 1 school, and also when roads permitted, in Cote No. 2 (Hillside) school. I have also a Mission Band with younger children here.


At the request of two of the women from the district I also went over to Hillside for six Sundays, Mr. McKibben went to a home on the other side of the River to hold a service there. During the winter months we are trying to have one good, well attended service and Sunday school here. During the year services were held here on all but four Sundays with the average attendance 19


The bales sent for Christmas supplies and presents were much better last year. Most of the clothing and toys were either new or of better quality than in previous years so that I was able to give out in your name very satisfactory Christmas parcels. On Dec.19th,1954 we held a very nice Christmas service in an almost filled church and the family parcels were given out afterwards. The school children received theirs at the two Christmas tree programs held in the two schools following Tuesday night.



1955-56: 

Report by Mr. J. McKinley, Community Worker.

For the first half of 1955 Miss Graham, with the help of Miss Young, was doing the missionary work here. In June Mr. Pollock and his wife took over. This was terminated by the sudden death of Mr. Pollock in September. From then on until our arrival in December the work was carried on as best possible by the school principal, Mr. McKibben, and Rev J. M. Spence of Kamsack.


During 1955 there were 14 baptized, three weddings and two deaths. The Indians in this reserve are very poor as there is only land for half the families, leaving the balance to do the best they can to make some money by other means. During the year a Mission Band was held and before Miss Graham left she took a number of children for a two-day camp at Madge Lake with the help of Mr. and Mrs. McKibben. There was a Christmas concert held before Christmas and all children received a present and all families a hamper.

In the short time we have been here we find that owing to the fact that we are half mile off the highway, it makes it very hard to get around. We have been snowed in fourteen days out of the fifty.


1956-57 »

Mr. J. McKinley and Mrs. McKinley, Community Workers.

  1. M. S. Mrs. Hazel Whitehawk, Pres., 14 members. Sent to Presbyterial $88.48 


Mission Band: Mrs. McKinley, leader; Dorothy Shingoose, Pres. Mrs. McKinley, our daughter Pat, and I arrived at the reserve on December 29, 1955. I took my first service on New Year’s day and met many of the Indians whom we have since come to know and like very much. I had six funerals last year, our first being just seven weeks after our arrival. As I was given the rites of the church on the Reserve I have been able to baptize 18 babies in all. We had three weddings, one by Mr. Spence and two by myself. One of these was very nice, as the bride was dressed in white and I was able to get  some flowers to make up the wedding bouquet. I also have a Hi/Fi set and was able to play the wedding march for them, and also suitable music after the service. I have a 35 mm camera and I took some very nice pictures of the wedding in colour. I'm getting a fine collection of pictures of our work on the reserve.


There was no Sunday school here when we arrived and as there was so much snow and cold weather, we did not get one going until the fall term started. We have it operating now, and are very pleased with the turnout of children. They all come to church and leave in the middle of the service to go over to the school where the two teachers and Mrs. McKinley look after them, giving them singing stories and handwork.


The W.M.S. Group have 14 women who meet once a month to make quilts and have their meeting and study. They make their allocation by selling the quilts, and also running a booth on treaty day, when they also sell other sewing. 


On Fridays we have two religious classes and once a month have Mission Band with the Jr class. We also have a brownie group organized now with a membership of 14 girls. A lady comes out from town to lead it.


Seventeen little girls come over every noon hour to sing for us. Mrs. McKinley has formed them into a choir, and we took them to a Carol Festival in Kamsack where they were well received. They also took part in our Christmas Concert, and are now singing in our Church services.


 On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I visit all the Indians as well as the United Church White people in the hospital. On Tuesday night we have a song fest with a short scripture reading, sermonetts and prayer and leave some reading material.


In June the school principal, his wife and Mrs. McKinley and I took 17 of the Indian children for a 4 day camp at Madge Lake. We took two of the Indian girls to the United Church camp at Chrystal Lake where Mrs. McKinley and I were leaders. In August four young caravaners who had given of their vacation time came and conducted a Vacation School for us. This was well attended and went over very well. 


Two of our Indian children, along with our daughter joined the 4 H. garden club in town, and we are pleased to say that both girls won some prizes for their vegetables.


We feel that without faith in God, and your prayers,we are not losing ground and we are doing our best to carry on the Christian work of the United Church.


1957-58:

Mr. J. McKinley, Community Worker.

W.M.S. Mrs. Hazel Whitehawk. 14 members $88.48

Mission Band: Mrs. J. McKinley.


Last January Mrs. Swenson came out from Kamsack and helped us start a Brownie group, as there are no C.G.I.T. or Explorer groups around his part of the country. About this time Mrs. McKinley got our ladies of the church interested in putting on a tea and sale of sewing, and from then until we put it on in March, I don't know who worked hardest anyhow it was a success. We had two of the older ladies pour tea and the younger ones serve. We also had a white elephant sale table stocked by our friends in town and our many friends in Calgary and Nelson. This was something that the Indians had never seen before. We had a lot of jewelry and it was picked up very fast.


On Good Friday we had a morning service and everybody brought a lunch. We made tea after the service when we all ate together to the enjoyment of every one. In May we had our treaty day, when we had a booth and sold hot-dogs, sandwiches, candy bars, tea and coffee, as well as more sewing. 


For weeks before we were being asked if we were going to have more a jewelry for sale, so we had to get busy and round up some more which was nearly all sold.  In June we had our Church picnic when we had prizes for the races, peanut scramble, ice cream, orangeade, and lunch.  We had a good turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

In August we had three young caravaners come in and help run a Vocational school for us. We had a good turnout and the girls did a very fine piece of work. In July when we were away on vacation, they got started on our new school about a mile from the old one and on the highway, but we did not get into it until November. We have running water and inside toilets, which was something for our Indian children


The last two months were taken up with getting the children ready for their Christmas concerts. The school held theirs on the Wednesday ‘f before Christmas when all the children received a crayon book and a small story book. The Homemakers made up about 400 lunches the day before and they were all gone in no time.


 On Christmas Eve we held our service and afterwards had a concert and then gave out a very nice gift to each child, some candy and an orange. We were also able to give each of the ladies a piece of jewelry and the parents a bag of candy. There was also enough candy left for me to take to the hospital on Christmas day and give every patient a bag of candy. I also was able to buy a microphone for my Hi/Fi set and make it into a public address system. This helped even the ones at the back of the hall to hear the smallest voice.


During the year Mr. McKinley had the little children in singing classes and we took them along with our Brownies into town to sing at the Carol Festival, when one of our little boys, Lesly Shingoose, took the solo in one of the numbers.

 We have a very good Sunday school this year with our daughter taking the pre-school children, Miss Ratcliffe, our school teacher’s daughter the junior children, and Mr. Todd, our other teacher, taking the older ones.


This was a very busy year for the stork and me, for I baptized 28 little ones as well as 25 older people, into the Church. We had eight deaths in the past year. The rest of our busy days are taken up with attending to the clothing bales, visiting the homes where I hold small service and leave reading material, visiting the hospital, which I do at least three times a week, when I visit all the United Church people and others. We also have two religious classes once a week on Friday afternoon, and once a month we hold mission Bend. I also take a service l every Sunday morning in an Indian home on the next Reserve.


This year we take the Grade five, six, seven, eight, and nine in to the white school in Kamsack, which seems to be working out well.


This now completes our second year in the Indian work, and with our prayers and the help of God we hope to be able to give many more years of service.





© Rick Kurtz 2011