Deer Lake

Saskatoon Head Start in Deer Lake

Ga Wiianiniiganiitamagoyak Children’s Centre in Deer Lake recently participated in a Community Exchanges Program through the Aboriginal Head Start On-Reserve Program (ASHOR). Deer Lake is partnered up with one of Saskatoon Tribal Council’s Head Start sites, located at Mistawasis First Nation. Four program staff from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan program arrived in Deer Lake on September 06, 2004. They included:

  • Early Years Coordinator Dawne Mutch,
  • Head Start Coordinator Sonya Johnstone,
  • Special Needs Assistant Mellissa Watson, and
  • Head Start Speech and Language Joe Duequette.

The Community Exchanges acitivites kicked off with the participants being taken to the GW Children Centre where students, parents and staff were waiting to greet the visitors. After being greeted by the Head Start Program team, the participants went on a community tour of Deer Lake First Nation. The participants were amazed at the rockiness of the community, the lakes and rocks made a lasting impression on the participants. The participants are use to the vast prairies across the province of Saskatchewan.

The next day the visitors continued their tour of the community. Community programs and services were visited. The participants were most interested with the Telehealth Services available in the community. They had never seen such equipment and asked many questions about Telehealth. Thank you Lily Sawanas for your time in showing us the Telehealth equipment, you are truly an expert at what you do (smiles).

The third day, the participants spent most of the day in the program with the children. During class time, participants were able to observe how the Centre incorporates Deer Lake’s culture and language into the program. Towards the end of the day, the participants visited a few of Deer Lake’s elders. The elders are used by the program as Traditional Instructors.

The fourth day, the exchange participants met with the Family Support Worker to discuss the parental involvement in the program. In the afternoon, they met with the Parent Group to talk about the programming and operation of the Centre. After the meeting with the Parent Group, there was a feast to end the community exchanges initiative. Community members were invited to the feast so they could meet the Exchange participants from Mistawasis First Nation.

Overall, the Community Exchanges Program was a success, the participants were able to exchange valuable information and ideas with the staff at GW Children’s Centre. All the objectives of the exchange visit were met. Deer Lake’s Head Start Program will be visiting their site in October.

Check out the Children’s Centre website for pictures at


Palidia Meekis 3rd Memorial Gospel Jamboree in Deer Lake

I would like to extend an invitation to family, friends or whoever is interested to come and join us in Deer Lake for the Gospel Jamboree and Feast that will be held here on September 6, 7 and 8, 2004.  Our guests that will be in attendance is:

Ronne Disbrowe - Thompson, MB

Silas Woodhouse Band - Fairford, MB

Abraham Monias - Keewaywin, On

If you are interested in attending, we could make arrangements for your accommodation.  Just give us a shout.  (807)775-9577 /2108 or (807)347-2222.

This will be our third year in holding the memorial gospel Jamboree in loving memory of our mother Palidia Meekis who passed on to a better place on September 8, 2001.  

For my mother.........

The moment that you died
my heart split in two.
The one side filled with memories
the other died with you.

I often lay awake at night
when the world is fast asleep
and take a walk down memory lane
with tears upon my cheeks.

I hold you tight within my heart
and there you will remain
Life has gone on without you
but it will never be the same.

For those that still have your moms
treat her with tender care
You'll never know the emptiness
until you turn and she's not there

We also like to remember our other loved ones at this time.  Our brother Rodney Meekis who left us on March 25, 1999 and our father Morley Meekis - April 4, 2000.

They say memories are golden.
well maybe that’s true
But we never wanted memories,
we only wanted you.

A million times we've needed you
A million times we've cried .
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died.

In life we loved you dearly,
in death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a special place
no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stair case
And heartache build a lane
We'd walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken
And nothing seems the same
but as God calls us one by one,

The chain will link again.


Upcoming Events in Deer Lake

From August 17-18, 2004. T.C.W (Tony's Championship Wrestling) will be in Deer Lake.  Following that, The Deer Lake Recreation Committee will be having their Annual Men's Memorial Invitational Fastball Tournament from the 18th to the 22nd.

For more information on these upcoming events click here


Deer Lake Head Start Program has a new web site

Ga Wiianiniiganiitamagogak Children's Centre has a new web site providing community members with regular updates and information about our program and services.

Check it out at

Watch for future developments!!


Deer Lake Head Start selected to participate in Community Exchanges Program

Ga Wiianiniiganiitamagoyak Children's Centre in Deer Lake was selected to participate in a National Community Exchanges Program. This initiative was developed by Aboriginal Head Start On Reserve (AHSOR), to provide the opportunity for participants to exchange the following:

  • Experience another Aboriginal Head Start project in a selected Aboriginal community in Canada;
  • Learn from colleagues and aboriginal participants by visitng a site;
  • New ways of delivering the program, cultural and language appreciation, expanding knowledge of the best practices in the six components inherent to the AHSOR Program criteria;
  • Visit another part of Canada, experiencing new sights and learning the historical environment;
  • Exchange ideas and discuss issues of mutual interest; identity and expand resource sharing; and explore trouble shooting approaches through brainstorming sessions;
  • Profile your project and community with pride, by creating an awareness and appreciation of our differences and similarities.

The staff at GW Children's Centre will be travelling to Saskatoon, to meet with Saskatoon Tribal Council's Aboriginal Head Start site. The Children Centre will soon be looking for volunteers to sit on a committee to oversee the Community Exchanges Program. The Committee will be the hosting delegates, they will be showcasing the programs successes and the community of Deer Lake.


Deer Lake school burns to the ground

An early morning fire on Monday, Feb 16, quickly engulfed the entire school in Deer Lake. The school building accommodated K-8 classes along with the Wahsa and KiHS programs and the education administration. Very little could be saved as the fire raced throughout the entire building. Click here to see the pictures of the fire.

In Memory of Deer Lake elder Douglas Meekis

This morning news of the passing of Elder Douglas Meekis is reaching everyone in the north. Family and friends were able to gather at the Menoyawin Hospital in Sioux Lookout to be with him.

I recall one memorial feast for Douglas' wife that I was able to attend while visiting Deer Lake. It is was a special event for me that I will always remember. I knew from this event how much Douglas' family and friends loved and cared for this very special person. Click here to view pictures of this feast.

A picture of Douglas Meekis greeting the Honourable Robert Nault can be seen by clicking here.


Ground Breaking Ceremony for new school in Deer Lake

The official Ground Breaking ceremony was held in Deer Lake yesterday in spite of the weather.  Elders from the community were on hand to share their feelings and offer their blessings to this special occasion.  Also in attendance were members of Keewaytinook Okimakanak; Geordie Kakepetum, Jim Teskey, and Peter Campbell, Frank representing Smith Carter Architects and Engineers Incorporated, members of the Education Authority, Chief and Council of Deer Lake First Nation, Teachers and Staff of David Meekis Memorial School along with various members from other financial organizations were also on hand to take part in the ceremony.

There were many words of happiness and anticipation looking towards the school being completed as Councillor Raymond Meekis said in his opening remarks ,"Finally, finally." After the elders and representatives spoke, the ground breaking ceremony took place with the widow of the late David Meekis (which the current school is named after) Ella Jane Meekis and youth representative Skye Patayash taking part in this ceremony.  

Shortly afterwards the signing ceremony took place under the big tent away from the drizzle. This was followed by a community feast to celebrate this historic day.  

To view pictures, go to and look in the photogallery


Deer Lakers (ladies) Invitational Baseball Tournament

Invitational Baseball Tournament
July 30, 2003 - August 3, 2003
Travel Day July 30, 2003.
Starts July 31, 2003.

Entry Fee
$500.00 Outside teams
$700.00 Local teams

Prizes to be determined by number of team entries
Accomodations will be provided
Band by-law must be respected
Meals will be provided for outside teams only

Contact people
Mona Meekis - 775-2346
Rose Meekis - 775-9554
Tracy Meekis - 775-9169

Recreation Committee
Brad Meekis - 775-9520
Andy Meekis - 775-9453
Zack Meekis - 775-9259


Deer Lake General Election Results

The general election was held on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 and advanced polling was made available the previous day for band members living off-reserve.  

Results are as follows;

Evelyn Meekis

Deputy Chief
Henry A. Meekis

Randy Meekis
Cory J. Meekis
George Rae
Raymond Meekis
Bella Meekis
Fred Meekis  

The swearing-in ceremony took place on Wednesday July 16, 2003 at the T.V. Station, which was broadcast live on the local community channel (21).