About Elder Services
William Ratfoot: Elders Co-ordinator.
William Ratfoot collaborates with Elders from all nine First Nations of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council.
Each community has their own unique history and protocol. Depending on the First Nation and the event, Elders are called upon to lead the way in ceremony, and lend their expertise.
“An important facet is connecting the Youth and the Elders,” says Ratfoot.
William Ratfoot is rarely in the office, you will find him in the background at events, especially when the Nine Chiefs of the MLTC gather.
William took part in the Lance Run during the 2019 Tony Cote Summer Games: “For example, I and the Flying Dust First Nation Elders became close with the youth who ran the Lance from Regina to Flying Dust. The youth became a team with their Elders and they still see each other that way.” Says William Ratfoot.
The Youth and the whole community need to get to know their Elders; even though their Elders may be retired, they are an abundant supply of knowledge and expertise. They are knowledgeable, professional and highly trained community mentors.
William teams up with many different Elders, from the nine First Nations of the MLTC. To mention a few functions,William assists the local Elders: in ceremony, cultural camps, pow wows, feasts, and also introducing Elders to new staff.
“Elders are very grateful for any opportunity to share their stories. They are ever mindful of their role in providing wisdom, clarity and insight through their vast array of knowledge. We must be listeners, and we must seek their stories out! We must learn from their past, to have a brighter future.”
- Former MLTC Tribal Helen Ben. (2006)
Waterhen Lake First Nation Elder, Margaret Runningaround demonstrates to the Grade 5 class of Waweyekisik, the fine art of preparing “Dry Meat.”