08 Mar 2016 – Profiles – International Women’s Day – Honoring Renee Carriere (Big Water Eagle Woman)

Today I choose to honor Renee Carriere, a special sister/friend/teacher whom I’ve come to admire for all her years of dedication to bettering the lives of her students. In particular, she finds ways to help our young indigenous women become strong iskwewak (women).

In 2009, Renee Carriere organized a canoe expedition for a group of young women from Opaskwayak Cree Nation. They drove to the headwaters of the Saskatchewan River and over the course of one month, they paddled their way home. Renee asked Dean and me to put together their images and video to record the story of their inner and outer journeys. We were honored to do so, and we did the best we could in the four days we were given to prepare this short video for their public viewing. We also honor the efforts of these strong young indigenous women for the completion of their arduous journey home.

This is a short followup video made after the completion of Renee Carriere’s canoe expedition with a group of young women from Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The day they left our community, I alerted friends and women all along the Saskatchewan River and asked them to offer tobacco for the safe journey home of our women from the birthwaters of the Saskatchewan River. I started, worked on, and completed Renee’s starblanket during the month they were on the waters. I presented her with her starblanket in recognition of her leadership of this important journey shortly after their return.

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