A Legacy Remembered: Poggy’s Field of Dreams
August 9, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
This year, Fisher River Cree Nation hosted their first pow wow post-covid. With the wooden bleachers filled, hundreds of dancers, spectators, and drummers gathered to celebrate and reunite with old friends. The familiar smell of campfire and open air, the sound of the jingles of dresses, the shaking of tassels, and the beating of drums lifted the crowd’s spirits. The energy throughout the grounds was a medicine we all missed.
While many were happy and excited to watch the dancers, this event was bittersweet for the Fisher River Pow Wow Committee. Dorothy, a pow wow committee member, shared that she was happy to see all the dancers and families coming together again but also noticed all the loved ones who would have been there but had recently passed. In particular, this year’s Annual Pow Wow is the first since the passing of a much-loved and actively involved community member, Carl “Poggy” Cochrane. Dorothy describes Poggy as someone who was always helping out and was often relied on to ensure that his community could enjoy their Treaty Days in good spirits. Poggy was the kind of man who went out to cut the grass before events for guests of Fisher River. He was the man who spent hours, days, or weeks preparing for any event, making sure all the jobs were getting done and all the finer details were handled. It was clear he took immense pride in his community and wanted others to feel that pride with him.
Shortly before his passing, Dorothy visited with Poggy to tell him how much the community appreciates and loves him. She wanted him to know their plans to honour and commemorate him by naming the grounds Poggy’s Field of Dreams. Poggy, a humble man, gave his blessing, and today he is honoured at every event and gathering on the Treaty Grounds. Poggy’s absence is felt at this year’s pow wow, but community members came together and did the work, remembering Poggy and how he would want things done. He was the go-to guy. He was a role model, friend, mentor, and relative to all who knew him.
The friends and family of Carl “Poggy” Cochrane felt a sense of comfort when the event took place, and it was noted by many that they felt his spirit was there that day. Poggy was the man who encapsulated the meaning of ‘it takes a community’, with no job too big or too small when you have a community willing to work together to make the dream happen.
Poggy was an incredible role model, and no one can replace him, but he was a kind mentor and we do not doubt that Fisher River will honour and continue the legacy of Carl “Poggy” Cochrane.