Olympic Flame Ignites Enthusiasm In La Ronge

Monday, November 09, 2009 at 09:55



It was a celebration of Olympic proportions.


Saturday marked the first Saskatchewan stop in the 2010 Olympic torch relay, as the Vancouver Olympic committee unloaded their jet and took a trip through La Ronge with the “eternal flame”.


Emotions ran high as the torchbearers — including four from La Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band — ran through the community ending the day at the Mel Hegland Uniplex, where Natasha Boyes had the honour of lighting the ceremonial cauldron.


Boyes says that she was overwhelmed by the experience.


“It was better (than I’d hoped). I didn’t think the emotion would take me like it did. It was just — it was unbelievable. And then I saw my dad crying, and then I started crying too,” she says.


When all is said and done, the flame will visit 119 First Nations communities, and at each one it will be blessed by an elder.


Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson says she was proud to show the country a little bit of Woodland Cree hospitality.


“Pictures say a thousand words, and without them coming to experience and see La Ronge and our area, the traditional territory of Lac La Ronge Indian Band, they wouldn’t know it. You can’t tell it to them. But for them to come and to experience what we have here in the north has just been amazing,” Cook-Searson says.


This is the longest national Olympic relay in history.