Valerie’s Voice in La Ronge

Dignitaries line up to embrace a speaker during a press conference on James Smith Cree Nation following the arrest and death of Myles Sanderson.

I remember that morning. My Dad was getting ready for work and he put on a black tie and arm band. It was unusual and I asked him about it. “Why?”
He told the King died and this was a way of showing respect.
Of course, I didn’t entirely realize the reality my father’s news until I stopped to pick up my friend for school.
I wanted to look like my Dad that morning, so I too wore a black tie and armband.
The reaction of my friend’s father to the news I imparted made me realize something significant happened.
And we saw this young woman arrived home from a trip to Africa and be received by Winston Churchill with much attention and formality. She was our Queen now.
It’s odd to me how memory can span years like they are instantaneous moments. I remember my neighbour telling me about the visit the then Princess Elizabeth made to her sister’s farm in Saskatchewan. She spent the afternoon, and it was just like any other young neighbour woman dropped by for tea. They talked about curtain making, children and other things, to offer Princess Elizabeth an opportunity to learn about a rural woman’s life on the Canadian Prairies.
Whatever people believe about the monarchy, this woman had a job to do and she’s done it very well for more than 70 years.
She was more governed by rules and regulations, governments, systems and other; than having a free life, but during her time the world has changed in so many ways. And she was a constant.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II during this week of sadness is unsettling; the constant isn’t there. Odd to feel that way about someone I never met.
Yet, she was part of my early life. She came into our home Christmas and New Year’s mornings and at other times: there was a message from the Queen.
I actually saw a caring message for the people of James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon from the Queen this week in the midst of these terrifying events.
The Queen has been a constant for so long, we don’t know what will follow. There will be change, someone new in the role, people will react in different ways. It may be a vulnerable time in some ways.
Whatever we think of the monarchy, the change will affect us all.
For me, I believe we need change. We are seeing so much me-me-ism that doesn’t care and respect other people, or the environment as reflected in many of our decisions.
And that’s a topic for another time.
My heart belongs to the people of James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon and the family of Damien and Myles Sanderson.
We are all human beings living on this Earth planet. Whether we’re the Queen or people living with heartache, anger or whatever brought on the events of this past week in Saskatchewan, we are just human beings with our strengths and frailties.
The world is open for change; may it be in a good way for all beings and the Earth itself so we can all live well with care, respect and love.