Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Lloyd Does

We're home from our Arizona travels and as we speak (or write, or read) Lloyd is making his 8-hour drive north to High Level, where he works.  Quite a commute, eh!

Ever since we've been married (except for a ten year stretch when we lived in Nova Scotia) Lloyd has worked with and for the First Nations of Canada (Indians), first with the federal government and then for the Bands (tribes) themselves.  Currently he is an Executive working with the North Peace Tribal Council, which is an association that provides professional services to the Dene, Beaver and Cree tribes located in Northwestern Alberta.   It's a challenging job and a rewarding one, and one he enjoys very much.  

A few weeks ago the Tribal Council hosted a cultural camp up north for the youth.  The  chiefs of the various tribes participated, as well as senior people from the Tribal Council, including Lloyd.  Although his cultural roots are based in Great Britian for the most part,  Lloyd was invited to speak to the youth on the importance of remembering and preserving their culture and traditions.  Lloyd described his own heritage and background and how it is important to him and encouraged the youth to value theirs as well.

Lloyd, delivering his address.
Chief Henry.  The headdress is worn only for ceremonial events now.
Lloyd, far right, with the Chiefs and representatives of the five bands that make up the Tribal Council





It was interesting to learn that the Dene 'Tha  are closely related to the Navajo of Arizona, thousands of miles away.  They share the same root language, stories and histories.  It seems that the Dene' Tha (which means 'the people') broke off from the Navajo (who call themselves Dine - the people) thousands of years ago - one group going north and the other going south.  Lloyd has met with the leaders of the Navajo a few times and  arranged several retreats, bringing the northern Dene 'Tha down to Phoenix to meet with their 'brothers', the Navajo, having seminars and gatherings that have been beneficial to both groups and which have helped to broaden their understanding of their history. 

History is fascinating and it's been an interesting experience having Lloyd work so close to the descendants Canada's original inhabitants.  As much as he has enjoyed his work, we're looking forward to his retirement in the next year or so.  We have places to go, people to see, and things to do before we become too old and decrepit to enjoy ourselves any more.

Pat

12 comments:

Lucy said...

That sounds interesting. I'd like to follow him around and see it all. I need to see more of Canada.

Sush said...

How interesting and when you go to Phoenix an entire new tribe to explore. I meant to ask you if you've ever browsed in a store there called The Willows Home and Garden? I follow Bev and her clan on my blog and I've always thought it would be a lovely store to browse in. Just wondering...
Hugs~

Holly said...

That really is fascinating. Glad you made it home safe and sound, sorry we didn't get together while you were here.

Granny Annie said...

This is absolutely fascinating. You are going to have to share more of this information with us.

TARYTERRE said...

What an interesting job. How exciting that your husband was invited to speak about culture and traditions and the importance of preserving them. My daughter has received a tenative job offer from a hospital on an Indian Reservation near Phoenix. They are still working out the details. If they can reach an agreement she will move there in November.

My Grama's Soul said...

Hi Pat......see your have left the AZ heat. How interesting that your hubby works both with our Navajo and your indians in a similar manner.

Stay well till you come south when it is cooler.

xo

Jo

frayedattheedge said...

What an interesting job. It is very important to remember our heritage and be proud of who we are ..... I'm Scottish first and British second!

Thisisme. said...

Very interesting post today, and I agree, what an interesting job that Lloyd has. I think you;re right to now be looking at his retirement, so that you can enjoy life and perhaps travel a bit.

Mickey said...

Awesome post Pat! now I understand a little better what you do Lloyd!
it sounds like you are very well respected in your position! I am impressed!

JQ said...

Coolest lanyards ever.

Desiree said...

I found this fascinating, Pat! What an interesting and privileged life Lloyd will had led, being and being exposed to their stories and ancient culture firsthand. I'd love you to share some of their history and customs with us, if that would be possible.

Desiree said...

oops! "will HAVE led, being accepted into their intimate inner circle and exposed to their stories..."

I don't know what happened to my comment to get it so jumbled!!!