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Lawton hits the ice in Ile a la Crosse PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chelsea Laskowski   
Tuesday, 24 November 2015 09:58

Stefanie Lawton gies some curling lessons in Ile a la Crosse. Photo by Chelsea LaskowskiOn Monday, a group of teens in Ile a la Crosse got curling lessons from one of the best in the game.

Stefanie Lawton, who has won four Saskatchewan curling titles, took a trip to the north-western community as part of her sponsorship agreement with Cameco, which is supporting her team when they head out on the World Curling tour.

Lawton and her on-ice lead – who happens to be her sister Marliese Kasner – taught some of the basics to Grade 9 students, which included Joseph Desjarlais. She says having the high-profile visit is a good motivator.

“Get them inspired so that they think ‘I could be this good someday,’” Desjarlais said. “Because she grew up in a small town like us, she has kinda the same opportunities as us.”

The small-town connection wasn’t lost on Lawton, who has never toured a small northern community like Ile a la Crosse.

“It just opens my eyes that there’s so much up here and so many great things, and the kids are so awesome. It’s a really good feeling to be a part of this and see that maybe we’ve made a difference in a few of the kids’ lives as well,” Lawton said.

Both Desjarlais and his classmate Erica Arcand have been curling for a few years, thanks in part to the passion of their physical education teacher Elaine Favel.

“She makes it way more fun. She pushes us to do the best we can. She doesn’t take no for an answer,” Desjarlais said.

The sport’s been a great social outlet for them, and Desjarlais said he likes the strategy part of things too.

“For me it was the thinking part of the game, thinking ‘where can I put the next rock?’” he said.

They admit that curling is more popular with the older generation in Ile a la Crosse, but said family helped them get interested.

“My papa even has a move, it’s called a ‘pack rat special.’ Instead of sliding he picks up the rock and throws it down the ice,” Desjarlais said with a laugh.

In addition to hitting the ice with a Grade 9 class in the afternoon, Stefanie gave a speech at Ile a la Crosse’s Rossignol High School. Lawton spoke to about 150 teens about confidence, the importance of education, following your own path, and learning from your mistakes.

Principal Vince Ahenekew says having high-caliber athletes visit is a big morale boost.

“It gives the kids something they can look up to right away, somebody that’s still alive and still kicking nd still playing the sport. Plus I think it gives them motivation and something to look forward to and hearing their story and the things they went through, that’s basically what the things are going through themselves,” he said.

“You can see the excitement in their eyes, they’re kind of astonished looking at people walking into their classrooms.”

After supper, Lawton and Kasner played a friendly game against Ile a la Crosse’s mayor Duane Favel and some other locals.

The community’s enthusiasm was still strong at day’s end, with Duane and a few others looking to get Lawton and Kasner involved with the National Aboriginal Curling League Championship coming up soon in Saskatoon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 10:18
UPDATED - Mother of murdered Aboriginal woman relieved PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Monday, 23 November 2015 12:49

Pauline Muskego was present for Monday's appeal of the conviction of her daughter's murderer

Pauline Muskego was present for Monday's appeal of the conviction of her daughter's convicted murderer

The mother of a murdered Aboriginal woman says justice was done in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal today when the court upheld the murder conviction of Douglas Hales.

Pauline Muskego traveled all the way down from the Onion Lake Cree Nation north of Lloydminster to be in the Regina courtroom where the case was heard this morning.

The lawyer for Douglas Hales argued evidence from an undercover police sting operation should not have been allowed during his trial last year because Hales was vulnerable and pressured into making a false confession.

Last December, Hales was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2004 death of 25-year-old Daleen Bosse.  He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 15 years.

The victim's mother, Pauline says she was so nervous she was almost hyperventilating throughout the court hearing this morning.  She was calm and composed after the court upheld the conviction.

"I am thankful for the outcome, and that justice has been served," she said.  "Our family does not have to go through this again and I’m just glad that the accused is where he belongs."

Prosecutor Dean Sinclair says the undercover police operation played a major role is locating Bosse's body and the arrest of Hales.  He says it is an investigative tool that has been used many times.

"There is not a question in my mind that in many of those cases the murders would not have been solved without employing this investigative technique," he said.

The three appeal court justices were unanimous in their decision, saying evidence against the accused was overwhelming.  That means an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada is not automatic.  The defence has to first ask the high court if it will hear the case.  It can be refused without reason.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 09:57
Candlelight vigil ends emotional week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mervin Brass   
Friday, 20 November 2015 17:15

andles were lit remembering missing and murdered indigenous women during a vigil at the University of Saskatchewan wrapping up a week of related events.

Throughout the week, students at the University of Saskatchewan remembered missing and murdered indigenous women.

An emotional candle light vigil was held Friday afternoon on campus, with about 40 students taking part.

Some students shared stories of missing loved ones while others spoke about the injustice indigenous women face on a daily basis.

Regan Ratt Misponas says the student associations and faculty declared this week in honour and memory of missing and murdered indigenous women.

“It was a good way to close, it was a good way to keep in memory the lives of our sisters, to keep that alive with us,” said Ratt Misponas. “It was very, very emotional but also very great to end it with the victory song.”

Earlier this week U of S students held a forum and a rally for missing and murdered indigenous women.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2015 17:17
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