Elders-In-Residence: Betty Tom

Betty Tom - photo credit Ozaawaa
Betty Tom: Faces of Naotkamegwanning Elders-in-Residence (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

By: Ozaawaa Paypompee     

Betty Tom has been living at the Naotkamegwanning Elders-in-Residence for over 5 years she said.

While she was working on an eagle puzzle, she remembered her grandson in Eagle Lake does photography. She was enjoying the nice beautiful Friday sunny day. She hoped the snow would melt for Halloween and kids should be able to trick or treat in larger spaces rather than be alone far away.   

She says she hasn’t always lived in Naotkamegwanning, originally she is from Big Island First Nation. She opened up saying she was the same age as George Kakeway, who is now a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and who spoke at the round house on Orange Shirt Day. She says they both attended St.Mary’s Residential School in Kenora. She says she finds it very hard rethink of those experiences.

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“Love seeing their smiles”, says Naotkamegwanning fishing derby organizer dedicated to memorializing local resident

By: Damon Hunter

The 15th annual Whitefish Bay Fall Bass Classic was held on Oct. 6th-7th, this year in memory of the late Angela White — who sadly passed away from cancer last year.

Alana Merrick, a co-organizer of the annual fishing derby with the late White, says she has dedicated the next four years’ events in her memory.

“Angela was one of our lead organizers,” she said. “She was an avid fisherwoman”.

Angela, born in Dryden, Ontario and raised in Naotkamegwanning First Nation, was known for her work in the community including co-organizing a drug awareness walk and the Seven Grandfathers awards.

With coverage from 89.5 The Lake radio, the event attracted a large amount of participants and sponsors, including a donation from RBC Royal Bank to help fund the competition. Participants came from Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and even Minnesota, USA.

The yearly event is completely non-profit, Merrick said, and the money made off of it is recycled for the next year’s event.

“Every cent goes to the tournament,” said Merrick. “Then we start all over again.”

Merrick said it makes her feel good hosting the event as a space for men and women of all ages and to observe the different bass species. She said the biggest unrecorded bass was 7lbs 10oz.

I love seeing their smiles and seeing their excitement.”

This year’s winners were Toowaas White and Damien Paypompee. They took first place with the heaviest catches consisting of nine smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass.

In second place, Erick Bennett and Jim Ducharme. Following in third, Dana Fast and Mike Miles.

1st PlaceToowass White:Damien Paypompee
This year’s winners, Toowaas White and Damien Paypompee (Photo credit: Keith Merrick)

Toowas White from Naotkamegwanning, says he has been attending the Bass Classic for 14 years and won second place in 2011 with his father-in-law.

Keith Merrick
Winners trophies (Photo credit: Keith Merrick)

Having spent much time with Angela and her family fishing, said the tournament’s dedication was deserved, considering her a “ staple at the docks and at the weigh-ins.”

“Our community had three great male/female teams compete year in and year out,” he said.”  Her passing had an affect on all the fishermen in the community”

Next year’s Fall Bass Classic is to be expected again early October.

More than just the beauty

Local aesthetician Jermaine White is helping build girls’ self-esteem one nail, curl, and lip at a time.Ozaawaa2

Jermaine White helps other women build up their self-image (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

I first went to Jermaine White of Naotkamegwanning earlier this month, curious if she did make-up. Sitting down with her, she made me feel good. She taught me different tips and how I can learn how to do things myself.

I am very happy, she is offering to share her many skills: nails, makeup, and hair salon cuts, colours and extensions, to help others build their confidence.

On Tuesday October 9, Ozaawaa and I went to sit down to interview her and one of her clients.

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Jermaine says she decided to channel her creativity into cosmetics (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

OP: How did you come into doing makeup? 

JW: I’ve always wanted to be a makeup artist since I was young. I decided back in 2014 after I graduated from high school. I decided to Nuwave (School of Hair Design) in Thunder Bay for hair, nails and makeup.

OP: Why do you do you offer different beauty services?

JW: I’ve always had a passion for  it. I have a creative mind, so I thought I’d put my creatively to use. Why better not then to become a makeup artist!

OP: How does it make you feel?

JW: It makes me feel good to be in this makeup industry. It’s really exciting really. It makes me feel good.

OP: Why do you do this for others?

JW: To give everyone experience, what I can do and show off my skills.

OP: Where do you get your makeup from?

JW: I’ve been to three different makeup schools so everytime I go to a new school I get a new kit.

OP: Do you have any Ojibwe/Anishinaabe influence in your work?

JW: When I started to get into nail design I actually tried to include nails designs, Anishinaabe flowers and floral nail artwork.

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    She says she is excited to start hosting workshops called ‘Beauty for the Soul’ (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee

OP: What does it mean to be Anishinaabe?

JW: It means to be inspiring, strong, following your heart and doing what’s best for you.

OP: What are people’s feedback when you help them?

JW: They get really excited to try something new. It’s also exciting for me when I see people’s expressions when I give them what they want, or give them something new and exciting.

OP: What is next for you? Do you have any workshops?

JW: I do these workshops, ‘Beauty for the Soul’, it includes nail polish and makeup application. I’ve been working with the community to set up workshops. I’m looking forward to setting up something soon.

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Jermaine White helps other women build up their self-image through makeup (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

Cassidy Copenance does beading in the community. She says she was a client of Jermaine three years ago, sitting down to do her nails and makeup.

OP: What do you think she means for the community?

CC: I think it’s good that she is close because people don’t have to drive to Kenora. I know she has done makeup for a couple ladies’ weddings and I think that’s really good because they were thinking about her.

OP: Can you speak about her character?

CC: She is a great person. I’ve had a couple troubles of my own and she’s been there. She is just a really good person.

She’s just a really good makeup artist and she is trying to further her education.

OP: What is it about makeup or hair that empowers or uplift women?

CC: If I’m feeling really crappy then I will happen to put makeup on or do my nails and I’ll feel good about myself.