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June 5, 2009

Making History Today

The following are some of the current and pending  history making events in the Community Voices area 

For the Love of Flying 

Airplanes are an important part of life in the north -past and present.  The Laurentian Air Service, out of Ottawa, was one of the most innovative and successful of the Norths aviation businesses for 60 years.  A new book For the Love of Flying by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail ,an up and coming young author, is hot off the press. 

For the love of Flying – new book on the Laurentian Air Services

Danielle visited Discovery North Bay in North Bay earlier this week  to talk about the book and sign copies.  It is a full look at the company with many interviews and 220 black and white photographs. ($30.95). The museum with its displays of planes was the perfect place for the visit. 

Laurentian was founded in 1936 and was heavily involved in air tourism in the Ottawa and Laurentian area. It pioneered the Grumman G-21 and deHaviland Beaver and served major projects like the Churchill Falls and James Bay hydroelectric projects. 

There is an interesting connection with North Bay-the famous Captains of the Clouds movie which was shot partly in the North Bay area.  Warner Brothers leased one of Laurentians bi-planes in 1941 and it was an important part of the movie.  Local aviation  historian Rudy Mauro is referenced in the book as are the articles I wrote on the movie.  North Bay was one stop on a tour by the author.  The book will be available in libraries, bookstores, and the museum. 

I was pleased to be able to show and talk about my new book on Canada’s First Black Mayor: Dr. S.F. Monestime at the same event.  Copies of the Monestime book are available at the museum and elsewhere in North Bay and Mattawa, or online. 

Mattawa Museum Celebrates 25th on June 13th 

The Mattawa Museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Saturday June 13 at the Museum. The anniversary is combined with Mattawa’s 125th and the OPP’s 100th anniversaries.  Maurice Nadon the former Commissioner of the RCMP who grew up in Mattawa will have a display unveiled as well with many family members present. 

After the Nadon unveiling the activity will shift to the stage at the back of the Museum where dignitaries will speak prior to outdoor activities. OPP dogs will be performing along with, among other things ,a pipe band and an antique 1956 OPP cruiser.  Refreshments will be served. The Nadons will gather for a family event at the Moon Café after the event.  For a profile of Maurice Nadon see my September 10, 2004 column “Canada’s Top Cop was From Mattawa” . 

Aboriginal Awareness 

There was a full 3 day Aboriginal Week celebration in Ottawa May 19-22.  The event was started in 1992 to increase aboriginal awareness especially among federal public service employees. 

In North Bay the Niijii Circle of the Initiative in Public Education by the Union of Ontario Indians have many ongoing activities listed in their Saturday page in the North Bay Nugget. The May 23 issue profiles the June 11 Residential School Day of Reconciliation – the first anniversary of Canada’s apology for the treatment of children, parents and families as a result of the Residential Schools.  Assembly of First Nations National Chief  Phil Fontaine will be in Ottawa and there will be other events elsewhere.  The Ottawa gathering will begin at sunrise on Victoria Island where there will be a program followed by a March to Parliament Hill .  Look for local activity in your area. 

Nipissing First Nation Events

A spring Pow-Wow and Cross Cultural Celebration will take place in North Bay June 19-21 with the Pow-Wow in Memorial Gardens Saturday at 1:00 and 7:00 and Sunday at 1:00pm.  For information contact Kirby Mianscum 705-472-2811 extension 202 (see poster)

Poster for North Bay First Nations Celebration

Cross Cultural Workshops will take place prior to the Pow Wow at the North Bay Indian Friendship Centre on June 19.  The workshops will profile traditional teachings for children, students and service providers. Contact Maurice Switzer at 705-497-9172 ext 2272 Email swimau@anishnabek.ca 

Temagami Gathering 

Temagami has a large event on the same dates as above with lots of Anishnabe content along with other Temagami historical and other presentations on the arts and culture of the area. Google The Temagami Gathering or log on to www.communityartsontario.ca/temagamiprogram for full details.

 Mattawa Unity Week 

Mattawa has an Aboriginal Week from June 21 to 27 on Explorer’s Point. The North Bay Mattawa Algonquin First Nations,the Antoine First Nations and the Women’s Resource Centre have organized the event with the cooperation of many others.  The Aboriginal Component includes a sacred fire which will burn all week and memories of ancestors can be recalled by burning a stick in the fire. There will be a tepee, displays, music, dancers, food, etc. It is expected to be the largest gathering of aboriginal people on the point in current history.  Everyone is welcome.  For more information log on to the Mattawa Unity Week or call Charlene Guilbeault at 705-744-5567 or 744-3962. 

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