It’s not exactly the easiest thing to put a bow on, but giving the gift of a full stomach is something the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is striving for this Christmas.
As it’s done since 2014, the FSIN is again sharing the hunt and donating thousands of pounds of meat to those in need over the holidays. The group, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, is making stops in several communities, including Regina.
Box after box of elk, moose and even wild boar meat was plopped down on the counter of the kitchen at Souls Harbour Dining Hall Thursday afternoon.
“We wanted to give back and a hearty meal is a way of giving back. That was the first component. The second one for us at the FSIN was to exercise and implement our inherent and treaty right to hunt,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron explained.
He added about 100 hunters worked to collect the meat.
“A little bit of meat goes a long way when you have a family,” said Vice-Chief Heather Bear. “We have students that are living in the cities, we have homelessness, we have even just families that can’t make ends meet.”
Patty Humphreys with Souls Harbour Rescue Mission called it a wonderful surprise the FSIN was going to donate yet again.
“Hope begins with a meal with our mission and so this is one of the best ways that we can share with our guests,” she said.
Souls Harbour is still looking for additional donations for its holiday meal on Dec. 23, Humphreys continued, and added donations are sought throughout the year. She said their soup kitchen serves five nights a week, equating to about 200 meals. Food is also needed for those in their men’s shelter, women’s transitional housing and additions home, and at the daycare.