A decorated trapper from northern Saskatchewan has been named the honorary chairperson of the Prince Albert Winter Festival.

Franklin Carriere, who lives in La Ronge, has been competing in King Trapper competitions around northern Saskatchewan since 1970 and competed specifically in the Prince Albert event for 50 years.

Carriere has won the Prince Albert event over 10 times. He’s also been named ‘King of King Trappers’ at a few competitions.

“It was an honor that was given to me years and years ago,” he said. “They got an honorarium that after so many years you compete in some of these festivals, they make you the King of Kings. I got three honorariums from the Prince Albert Winter Festival, the La Ronge Winter Festival and The Pas, Manitoba Winter Festival.”

Carriere retired from competing when he was 70-years-old.

He said he now enjoys teaching the next generation.

“I don’t know how many people I’ve trained,” he said. “I’ve been to Wollaston, I’ve been to Sandy Bay, I’ve been to Southend—wherever I get sent to to teach.”

Carriere offers a trapping course through Northlands College. 

He said being able to work with young trappers is why he was happy to take on the role of honorary chairperson.

“I’m a teacher, that’s what I do,” he said. “I teach these young people how to compete. And I say, ‘Pay attention. How come this guy is so fast? Look at his snowshoes, look at his equipment. You go and ask him where did he get that equipment from. But if he doesn’t tell you, I’ll tell you.’ This is what gives me the honor of  accepting to be honorary chairman of the P.A. Winter Festival.”

Carriere said he’ll be checking in on the trappers as they compete next month.

The Prince Albert Winter Festival is an annual event that includes a King Trapper competition as well as other festivities.

Carriere’s trapping career will be honored with a gala in Prince Albert Saturday. The Winter festival will run from Feb. 10 to 27.

(PHOTO: Prince Albert Winter Festival logo. Photo courtesy of Prince Albert Winter Festival and Franklin Carriere.)