Pinaymootang First Nation celebrates 12 graduates

Pinaymootang First Nation's class of 2018

June 26, 2018

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Grand Chief Dumas with an Elder at Pinaymootang School.

Grand Chief Dumas visits with an Elder at Pinaymootang School.

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas was honoured to be included in graduation ceremonies at Pinaymootang First Nation on June 22, 2018. On behalf of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, he sends congratulations and best wishes to all of the graduates.

Before the ceremonies started, the atmosphere in the school was full of pride and excitement. The committee in charge of coordinating the graduation ceremonies did a beautiful job of transforming the gym and hallways into a Hollywood-inspired celebration. The red carpet was rolled out and the hallways were lined with movie posters featuring the grade 12 graduates. Tables were set for a feast that would follow the graduation ceremony.

“Your community is clearly invested in you,” Grand Chief Dumas told the graduates. “When I come back here as an old man I want to see you up on this stage as Grand Chiefs, Chiefs, plumbers, doctors, lawyers, whatever you want to be.”

The graduates received advice and warm wishes from a number of guests, including Wab Kinew, Leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party; Lorne Keeper, executive director of Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre; and the Chief and Councillors of Pinaymootang First Nation.

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas addresses the graduating class at Pinaymootang School.

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas addresses the graduating class at Pinaymootang School.

Graduates heard about some of the limitations placed on Indigenous peoples in recent history. The speakers encouraged graduates to reach for their dreams with the knowledge that their ancestors lived through many difficulties. The recurring theme in the speeches is that education is a key to success and that one should never give up.

A touching moment came when one of the Councillors acknowledged his niece. He told her to be particularly proud as she overcame the adversity of losing both her parents while she was finishing school. She made a personal commitment to graduate despite going through a terrible loss.

“I’m glad we have a Grand Chief who has feelings for the community to take part in events like this because we don’t see that all the time,” said Pinaymootang’s Chief Garnet Woodhouse.

“I am so proud of you,” Grand Chief Dumas reflected. “This is a great day. I feel like I’m at my graduation.”

Four happy graduates at Pinaymootang

Students at the Pinaymootang First Nation School were excited to graduate on June 22, 2018.

The 12 graduates are:

  • Jonah Anderson (Valedictorian)
  • Kelsey Anderson
  • Kennedy Anderson
  • Spencer Anderson
  • Reba Flett
  • Thor Flett
  • Cetina McLean
  • Alexie Sinclair
  • Cameron Sinclair
  • Alanis Stagg
  • Shanda Thompson
  • Tristan Woodhouse (Valedictorian)

Visit our AMC Facebook page to see all of our photos from the graduation ceremony and visit to Pinaymootang First Nation.