Treaty Days at Fort MacKay

Canada’s National Aboriginal Day is a day recognizing and celebrating theFirst Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures and contributions each has made to Canada. Today also is Summer Solstice and occurs on the day that has the longest period of daylight.

We celebrated Aboriginal day by attending Treaty Days in Fort MacKay. Opening ceremonies for this First Nations event included the recognizing of three chiefs. A ceremony like this includes a dance, face paint, and placement of headdress on leader. 

After this ceremony we made our way over to the Band Hall and experienced a great Surf n’ Turf meal and an old fashion tug-o-war event with Oil Sands sites and service companies participating.

 

A great cultural experience. 

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Treaty Days

Treaty Days

National Aboriginal Day

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It does make all he difference when road less traveled is taken.

Bishop Michael Rinehart

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

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Bellingham Bay

Bellingham Bay

Bellingham Bay

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Close up with moose family

On the 25th of August, my family and I completed a grueling round trip from Fort McMurray to Edmonton.  We recently transferred from Houston, Texas and were custom to talking long trips in our vehicle.  We completed the “winterizing” our SUV and were now headed back home.  While driving we like to play “eye spy” with our four year old son Caleb.  Being cautious of other drivers and wildlife, we were enjoying our car games.  However, we were not prepared to see what we were about to see.  As we carefully watched at the baseline of trees we would often see knocked over trees.  The tree roots exposed would fool us into thinking we saw a bear or moose.  Often we would see beaver dams and other interesting wildlife habitats.  At one point we spotted a bald eagle.
We just passed kilometer marker 70 where new construction was taking place to twin highway 63.  As we came over a hill headed North I noticed several moving animals, but could not make them out.  I yelled out to my wife sitting co-pilot and said, “look…look…look.”  She said, “what…where…what am I looking for?”  For some reason I could not get the word moose out of my mouth.  I had a feeling we were going to cross paths.  Sure enough as we got closer to an intersection (of sorts) we slowly eased up on a momma and two baby moose.  We made sure no traffic was coming for either direction.  As the momma trotted her two babies across the long stretch of undeveloped highway to the East of us, she corralled them up just before the main 63 road.  It seemed like she was telling them to be careful and look both ways.
 
She slowly crossed highway 63 as if to say here I am for your eyes only.  We were the only vehicle on the road and got to experience the most spectacular nature event we have had to date living here in Canada.  When momma moose had her babies across highway 63 she turned around to look at a family of three with jaws hanging down in disbelief in what we just witnessed.  We thanked her, took a deep breath, turned our flashers off and drove off. 
 
Having experienced the dangers of highway 63, I know first hand the adrenaline rush an animal like this must experience.  However, this day was different as it was our family and her family seeing each other eye to eye.  It seemed as though time stood still and for that 5-10 minutes and we were destined to meet.  Thank you momma moose.Image
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Character Values

I have been thinking a lot about character values.  Browsing the Internet it is easy to find many lists of character values.  So, I have combined character value words from organizations I have been involved and came up with a list of my own.  Here is what is what is looks like:

Attentiveness

Availability 

Compassion

Confidence

Contentment 

Courage 

Dependable

Determination

Discernment 

Encouragement 

Fairness 

Faithfulness

Fearless

Forgiving

Friendship 

Generosity 

Gentleness 

Gratitude 

Health and Fitness

Honesty 

Humility 

Integrity

Joy 

Justice 

Kindness

Learning

Love

Loyalty 

Meekness

Patience 

Peace

Perseverance

Positive Attitude

Respectful

Responsibility

Self-Acceptance

Self-Control

Sincerity 

Thoughtfulness

Wisdom

Zealous

This may not be a complete list of character values; however, I know it will teach our son to be wise in his ways.  My hope is he will learn what to do in his life in most any give situation.  Also, my hope is he will have ability to think, feel and behave appropriately. 

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Adding Value: Patience

Patience as Wikipedia defines as “the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.”

Good things will come to those who wait is a line that comes to mind.  As we wait in a line-up for any given reason (ordering lunch or coffee, administration or business, or to catch a flight) a sense of wanting something now seems be the focus.  This same phrase was used by Heinz ketchup in the 1980s and Guinness beer in 1990s as ad slogans.  All things happen for a reason is another way patience is viewed.

Sometimes asking, “what am I waiting for?” Or, “why am I waiting?” may only delay that in which we are waiting.  So, asking questions like “what can I be doing to fill my time while I wait?” And, “how can I spend my time productively while I wait?” might be a good solution to any delays.

We are only human and cannot plan for everything. With a smartphone in hand or a good book one can survive any extended wait time.

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