Stories From The Field: Whitecap Dakota First Nation

In fluent Dakota, Elder Melvin Littlecrow, opened the breakfast at ABM Spotlight: Infrastructure & New Technologies, wishing our delegates health, wellness and good luck in their day ahead.

Quiet and stoic, with a demeanour that demands silence, Elder Melvin, seemed to display traits that indicate introvertism. But as Communications Manager, Romila Barryman and Logistics Manager, Jamie Storm-Elley learned when they were invited to Littlecrow Ranch, Elder Melvin has an impressive and thundering past as a chuck wagon racer. A skill that eventually earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award for leadership in his community including dedicating his life to training and racing horses.

There are pens in the back that keep the wilder horses, juxtaposed by the still and serene landscape. They are louder and more playful with each other than the trained steeds. Elder Melvin keeps his distance as he explains how he wrangles them and what it takes to break them.

“Do you speak to them in your language?” Jamie asks.
“Sometimes,” he replies, nodding his head concludingly. “Sometimes they listen better when I do.”

A fire engine red truck sits in the middle of the entrance of Littlecrow Ranch, matching the fiery nature of Elder Melvin’s shed and old racing wagon.

“You could tie two horses and go real fast,” Elder Melvin explains, pointing to his chuck wagon. “Or you could tie one horse and get him to be real good.”

Whitecap Dakota First Nation sits approximately half an hour south of Saskatoon. The landscape is flat and seemingly neverending. The only thing that breaks the horizon on Littlecrow Ranch are the Poplar trees that grow at random near the pens. We thank Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Elder Melvin for the warm invitation onto Treaty 6 Territory and for the opportunity for our team to have this knowledge exchange.

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About Whitecap Dakota First Nation

Whitecap Dakota First Nation’s business arm, Whitecap Development Corporation, attended ABM Spotlight: Infrastructure & New Technologies with interest in ventures and partnerships, offering 1,000 acres of reserve land zoned for commercial development and 200 acres designated for the establishment of a commercial/light industrial business park.

Check out our opportunities page to explore more opportunities out of the ABM National Network at our upcoming ABM events.

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