FPS raises awareness through art

Valerie G. Barnes Connell/Northern Advocate. Close to 20 artists responded to the FPS call out having their art displayed at Marker 47 Café and Bistro in March.

For Peat Sake: Protecting Northern Saskatchewan Muskegs continues to raise awareness and do education on the environmental value of peat and muskeg.

With a call-out to local artists, close to 20 local artists responded and had more than 30 artworks hanging in the Gallery at Marker 47 Café and Bistro in La Ronge throughout the month of March.

The group also hosted a reception and information session Saturday, March 16 with a strong turnout.

Elder Sally Milne offered a prayer to begin the event. She also spoke about her early life growing up on the trapline and close to the land.

Valerie G. Barnes Connell/Northern Advocate. Elder Sally Milne talks about growing up on the trapline.

She talked about the women, who used Moss Bags for their babies. The women processed the moss before using it in the bags to keep their babies dry and warm in their early months of life. Diaper rash and other such inflictions were not found when babies were securely wrapped in the moss bag.

Elizabeth Bekolay, a biologist and author of Nature’s Apprentices: The Magic of the Peatland, was on hand to share some of the stories about writing the book and the value of peat left in the ground.

She closed her presentation with a fun event, creating a song with participants, focusing on the value of peat. The muskeg’s value includes: protection from wildfires and flooding, carbon, purifying water, can be used to preserve food like a refrigerator and more.

Much of the exhibit will go on to Art on the Avenue Gallery in Prince Albert in the Spring. The book also includes an educational guide.

Hilary Kyplain, Métis Nation Saskatchewan (MNS) Talked about her role a MS-N’s new Conservation co-ordinator and how it relates to the peatland and muskegs.

Some of the artists also talked about their work and why they participated in the exhibit.

FPS is a group of volunteers working together to protect the muskegs in the light of a potential peat mining operation with Lambert Peat Moss Inc. of Quebec.

Lambert hopes to set up an operation on four areas south of La Ronge.

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) voted no to supporting the proposed mining operation in the area.