Saskatchewan First Nations: Lives Past and Present is one volume in the Canadian Plains Research Centre's series that features brief biographies of Saskatchewan people. This volume looks at the contributions of First Nations individuals born in Saskatchewan and how they worked to improve their communities and the province. A few Aboriginal People born elsewhere and who currently reside and work in Saskatchewan are also included. There are 125 biographical sketches written by volunteer researchers. The biographies range in length from half-page entries to 3-page essays. Many of the entries include a black and white photograph of the individual featured. The history of First Nations in the province of Saskatchewan is portrayed in the entries of Piapot, Ahtahkakoop (Starblanket), Big Bear, Carry the Kettle, Mistawasis (Big Child), Poundmaker, and Red Bear. Other areas of contribution include education, politics, media, sports, the arts, health care, and women's issues. Many of the individuals are well-known and these include Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tom Jackson, Allen Sapp, Jean Goodwill-Cuthand, and Michael Greyeyes. Others such as Alex Decoteau (1912 Olympics), Delia Opekokew (lawyer), Frederick George Sasakamoose (Chicago Black Hawks hockey player), and Ahab Spence (educator) are acknowledged for their achievements. The biographies do not overlook negative aspects of human behavior. In the entry about political leader David Ahenakew, the writer includes a reference to Ahenakew's unfortunate anti-Semitic statements made to the media. Some entries include quotes from the subject of the biography and other writers rely heavily on Native media sources as well as family members for their research. The editor comments that these 125 individuals are only a small portion of the First Nations people of Saskatchewan who deserve recognition. The book's introduction includes brief essays about First Nations history in Saskatchewan as well as discussions about Native politics, education, health care, media, and sports. This introduction provides a context for reading about individual achievements through the biographies. This is an excellent resource about the contributions of the First Nations of Saskatchewan.
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