18th Annual Pioneer of the Year – Bruce Cutknife as Community History Keeper

Chicken Dancer Bruce Cutknife

2016 Pioneer of the Year Bruce Cutknife

Help the Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum celebrate those who continues to make significant contributions to our Community of Wetaskiwin City, County, and Maskwacis through volunteerism and community spirit. This year’s theme is Community History Keeper, and we are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient is Bruce Cutknife.

Bruce is a member of the Samson Cree Nation. He was born and raised in the Bear Hills Maskwacis community with Cree as his first language. He attended the Ermineskin Residential School up until grade 9. In 1974, he completed his High School in Ponoka, and attended the newly established Maskwacis Cultural College. Bruce started working in the Living History Program of the Maskwacis Cultural College for a number of years. His duties included Audio and Video recording of Elders talking about local history. This involved working with Elders to collect and archive the Cree language, work with the Cree Syllabics, and using them in the collection and archiving. Bruce received his BA in History/Native Studies from the Augustana Universty College in Camrose. After graduation, he taught some Cree Language and Cree Studies courses at the Maskwacis Cultural College, and was the Director of Education for the Samson Cree nation. Bruce had worked with the Elders within the Maskwacis Cultural College to identify and name as many Cree name places as possible. The result was a map that would eventually be entered as evidence in a landmark court case within Canada.

Join us on June 11th as we celebrate Bruce and thank him for his commitment to ensuring that our shared history is preserved, and the legacy of our community is celebrated. Mr. Cutknife is the first recipient of this honour from Maskwacis and it brings us great pleasure to now have our entire community represented.


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