Holiday Message from our Executive Director

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Holiday Message from our Executive Director

With the Holiday Season upon us, I would like to take this opportunity to extend a very warm greeting to you and yours.

This time of year brings happiness and also a time of reflection. When I think back to my childhood during Christmas time, I have many fond memories. The memories of the Christmas joy my grandparents made in our home has stayed with me my entire life. Many of my favorite childhood memories are from the Christmas concerts held at our little school.

One year, my favorite teacher Mrs. McMaster asked me if I would like to play Joseph in the manger scene scene for the concert. Perhaps she chose me, because I was a bit of a jokester in our class and I loved telling stories. I told her I would think about it. As usual, after school I got caught up in playing in the snow with my school mates. One of the younger children started crying and no one knew what to do, so I took it upon myself to take him home. His grandmother answered the door and thanked me for bringing him home by giving me a hug and a piece of bannock, fresh out of the oven. Their Christmas tree was up and carols were playing on the radio. The little boy smiled and thanked me, as well. It made me feel warm inside to help another. On my walk home, I could hear singing coming from the church. I stopped and looked in the window. I could see my grandmother playing the organ and everyone inside was singing, Good King Wenceslas.  I had heard this carol in the past, but now I really listened to the lyrics:

Therefore, Christian men, be sure Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

The hymn’s message touched my heart and soul, as I thought about that little boy and I walking across the lake, him following behind me scared and crying.., I was so glad that I was actually able to help him. I left the church grounds and walked through the dark night. I looked up to admire the glow of the night sky, and to my amazement, it wasn’t moonlight, but rather the north star that was lighting the sky. It shone brighter that night than I have ever seen, even to this day. At that moment, I realized the true meaning of Christmas, and the importance of practicing kindness and love, not only during this season, but all year around.  Needless to say, the next day I told Mrs. McMaster that I would indeed play the role of Joseph!

It is my wish for you that you are surrounded with kindness, compassion and merriment for this holiday season! On behalf of the staff and management of the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Lorne C. Keeper, Executive Director

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