Tammy Cook-Searson has been working around the clock for over a month as widespread forest fires in northner Saskatchewan caused evacuations in her area.
Chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Cook-Searson’s dedication has left people amazed. From detailed emails to Facebook posts, she tirelessly kept evacuees and others in the loop regarding the wildfire situation.
Her husband Jim Searson is grateful for her compassion and shared his feelings in Facebook post after his wife left her computer on.
“To Tammy my beautiful wife, very soon we can take the kids and grandchildren out fishing somewhere on this beautiful lake (just out of cell range),” he wrote.
Speaking to The Brent Loucks Show on Tuesday morning, Searson said after 18 years in politics, his wife still loves her job. First elected into council in 1997, she became chief in 2005.
“It’s a big job but she loves her job,” he said.
“For my kids, it’s normal because right from the day they were born, their mom has always – they know she doesn’t always make it home for supper or she might not make it home that evening but she’s always in contact with them.”
Raised on the family trap line near Southend, Cook-Searson got her strength from hard-working parents, according to Searson.
In her spare time, she loves picking blueberries as a stress reliever. During the wildfire crisis, Cook-Searson was still training for a death race in Grande Cache, Alta. on Aug. 1.
“I don’t know how she did it because for the last month she’s been less than five hours a night, sometimes three, four, five hours at the most. She’ll still get up and do her 10k or 15k runs,” Searson said.
Season has spent the last couple days at the evacuation centre in La Ronge as evacuees streamed off buses as they return home. He said his wife greeted all 13 of the buses that arrived on Monday.
Tammy Cook-Searson (far left) and others welcome evacuees home on July 17, 2015. Kelly Malone/CKOM News
“It was actually pretty emotional to watch a lot of the residents come off the bus and come straight to her and give her a big hug. Right from little kids who know her name to elders to every age bracket and group,” he said, adding she’s been getting praised on Facebook and through cards.
“It’s pretty amazing when you realize people really see what she does.”
Cook-Searson will celebrate her birthday on Wednesday.
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