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District Living Wednesday, March 23, 2011 B1 Staff While still several weeks away, appointments have been a little slow for the upcoming spring blood donor clinic here. the number of units). “It’s been very slow so far,” Heather admitted. “Until we do the  phoning, which is still a little over three weeks away, a lot of people don’t book. the right type of blood on hand.” Last April, the spring blood do- nor clinic here saw a two-day total of 358 donors, who gave 307 units of blood to help up to 929  patients in hospitals in Northwest- much they appreciate blood do- nors and why it was so important that blood was there for them when they needed it. Here’s some interesting facts about blood donations:  Appointments slow for blood donor clinic By Heather Latter Staff writer Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong held its annual recognition banquet at On- igaming First Nation earlier this month, lauding the accomplish- ments of those who benefit from its programs. Based in Kenora, Shooniyaa Wa- Biitong is the training and em-  ployment delivery agency whose  purpose is to assist Treaty #3 com- munities and individuals address their training needs in order to meet employment goals. The agency offers programs for individual and community-based training, a self-employment pro- gram, youth programs, and pro- grams for the disabled. This year’s recognition banquet was held at the Mikinaak Onigam- ing School gym (near Nestor Falls), with Gary Smith acting as emcee. “We try to recognize individu- als who have gone through our  programming in the past year and  have been able to accomplish, first of all, what they set out to when they first approached us for as- sistance and then, in some cases,  have even gone further,” explained Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong executive director Marie Seymour. She added part of the evening was dedicated to the bursary win- ners, as well. “I think it’s a big thing for any- one to be recognized,” Seymour reasoned. “A lot of people certainly don’t feel comfortable being recognized  but once the event is over, you can certainly see [the pride] on their face and the faces of their family and friends. “And the rest of the community, for example in Onigaming, they could see what some other com- munities are doing and what other individuals are working towards,” Seymour added. Those who received recognition certificates included Megan Bob, Estelle Simard, and James Cam- eron. Meanwhile, Michelle Botham, Kelly Major, Stephanie Perrault, Pat Yerxa, Maybelline Loon, Roxanne Necanepenace, and Irene Skead received Ozhiitaag “To Prepare” awards. “Our goal, as mandated by Ser- vice Canada, is that we have to cre- ate training opportunities that lead to employment and I think we’ve done a very good job of that,” Sey- mour said. “And we really do want to focus on our youth to make sure they stay in school and follow that ca- reer path that they want to,” she stressed. The Youth Achievers Bursary Awards saw 15 youth recognized for their achievements. John Binguis, Megan Cowley, Wade Johnson, Chelsea Capay- Kwandibens, Tehya Handorgan, and Brent Joseph earned awards for Best Overall Combines Aca- demics and Attendance. Also honoured were Cheyanne Pahpasay (Best Attendance), Da- mon Perrault, Alina Skead (Excel- lence in Combined Academics and Sports), Keira Allan, Riel Councillor (Excellence in Combined Academ- ics and Cultural Preservation), Me- gan Allan (Excellence in Combined Academics and Community Volun- teer/Involvement), and Elizabeth Morrisseau (High School Aw ard for Excellence). Keisha Seymour-Miller (Grade 9-10) and Jordan White (Grade 11-12) were saluted as winners of an essay and speech competition. “You had to write about the certain things you overcame to get where you are now,” White said of the essay contest. She wrote about having a one-  year-old son who was born with a cleft lip and palate. And even with  having to spend some time with  him in a Winnipeg hospital, she now will be graduating from Seven Generations High School in June. “I was excited to hear I’d won,” White enthused. “I think it’s a big achievement to win something like this and to just get my story out there.”  Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong lauds accomplishments By Peggy Revell Staff writer One man’s dedication to peace, anti-violence, and social justice is the topic of a new book created in memory of the late Gene Stoltz- fus, who called Fort Frances home during his final years. “Create Space for Peace” is a compilation of Stoltzfus’ articles, speeches, and letters—as well as tributes from family and friends— which highlight the decades of  his life spent as a peace activist around the globe. “I knew from the very begin- ning that there needed to be a  book,” Dorothy Friesen reflected on why she put together a book filled with her late husband’s writ- ing since he passed away last March. “But every time I would take out Gene’s blogs, I just sort of dis- solved in tears,” she admitted. Eventually, a “team” assembled themselves, explained Friesen, in- cluding their colleague from the Philippines, Marilen Abesamis, who helped edit, a friend from Singapore who helped create the digital platform to promote the  book, and Madeleine Enns and Harold Neufeld of Winnipeg who  helped with proofreading. “It’s been a really amazing ex-  perience that is sort of meant to be because everything dove- tailed,” she added.  The book isn’t biographical but instead includes stories, thoughts, and reflections of Stoltzfus’ life—  his memories of being born dur- ing World War II, reflections on working in more than 30 coun- tries in 40 years, how he and oth- ers “created space for peace” in the midst of violence and conflict, and his Christian faith which led  him on this path through life. Choosing what exactly to use was difficult, Friesen noted. Al- though Stoltzfus didn’t write very much until his retirement in 2004, from then onwards he had a weekly blog, as well as speech- es, personal correspondence, and other miscellaneous writings. “We maybe used a 20th of what there was,” Friesen said. “We had to just keep reminding ourselves this is just a ‘flavour’  just so people can sense the spirit of Gene.” Stoltzfus was born in a Menno- nite community in Aurora, Ohio in 1940. During the Vietnam War, he registered for the draft as a conscientious objector and ended up working with the In- ternational Voluntary Services in Vietnam until resigning in protest against the war. Following that, he worked with various social justice and anti- violence organizations, such as the Mennonite Central Committee  program in the Philippines and By Peggy Revell Staff writer A new meat processing plant in Emo is aiming to put local beef on store shelves and menus across the district. Located at 56 Front St. in Emo (the old post office), Rainy River Meats Inc. is being established due to the demand for increased  processing capacity to distribute more local meat products, ex-  plained Steve Loshaw, one of the co-owners and local investors who  have started up the business. While there are other local pro- cessing facilities, Rainy River Meats Inc. is a “category one” licensed  premise by the Ministry of Agri- culture, Food and Rural Affairs, noted Loshaw, which allows them to sell wholesale to retailers, tourist camps and restaurants, and “third  parties.” “We’re hoping to provide an alternative marketing opportunity for producers to finish products for the retail market as opposed to shipping them out of the district,”  he remarked. Otherwise, many local produc- ers will raise a younger animal to a point, then sell it to Western Canada, Manitoba, down east, or elsewhere—where someone else would do the finishing on it so it will be ready for slaughter before going into the retail market. “Major renovations,” including adding a cooler and freezer, have  been done at the new Emo facility, said Loshaw. The goal is to be able to process 10 beef a week, with pork also to  be processed. Once up and running, the plant will be looking to hire a minimum of two full-time and some part-time employees, he added. “It’s going to be fantastic—we’ve  been working at it for a long time,” echoed co-owner Marg Irvine. “[We’re] just looking forward to the challenge and being able to keep more beef within the district, and get people eating local,” she enthused. Having local beef more readily available also is something Deb Zimmerman, another co-owner, is looking forward to, along with sup-  porting local farmers and keeping revenue in the district. “We definitely see that people want [local food], it’s the way of the future,” she reasoned. “Everybody wants everything local—from vegetables straight through to their meat. “So that’s our goal to supply as much as we can,” Zimmerman said, also encouraging district resi- dents to support locally-produced food. Loshaw said the processing plant  has three primary objectives, with the first being wholesale products. “The reason for the wholesale is to get the local products dis- tributed further in the region,” he explained, noting most retailers no longer are equipped with the rail system to hang beef and buy  products that are broken down into primal cuts. “A primal would be like a hip of beef that you’d cut a number of roasts off, or you would take a loin of beef and you would cut a dozen steaks off it, or something like that—and that’s the way the retailers are getting their product now,” Loshaw noted. If a retailer is selling a lot of New meat processing plant opening in Emo Taylor Perrault, left, and Whitney Tuesday challenged each other in a chess game during lunch yesterday at Fort Frances High School. The pair are gearing up for the district-wide chess tournament, being hosted by the FFHS Chess Club, which will see more than 70 students from Grade 7 and up going head-to-head there Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. —Heather Latter photo Chess warm-up Please see “New,” B6 “A lot of people certainly don’t feel comfortable being recognized but once the event is over, you can cer- tainly see [the pride] on their face and the faces of their family and friends.” —Marie Seymour Please see “Shooniyaa,” B6 Book pays tribute to life dedicated to peacemaking Please see “Book,” B6

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