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Elders Voices
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The Centenarians
"The Only Way to Live Your Life is to be Kind"1

This tribute to Aboriginal women, titled The Centenarians, was produced to coincide with the Province of Alberta’s 100 year anniversary. This film production was created through a partnership between EnCana Energy, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. The Centenarians were acknowledged at the 10th Annual Esquao Awards 2005 Celebration that took place on May 26, 2005at Northlands Agricom in Edmonton, Alberta.

In this nine minute video, you will be introduced to three outstanding Elders. These women truly are the keepers of knowledge. Listen as they discuss their lives and tell stories from their past. From learning Cree to learning how to prepare moose meat to caring for their families, these Elders demonstrate the importance of women to Aboriginal society. With the values of truth, honor and beauty Mary Benoit, Bella Gladue, and Flora Cardinal exemplify the pivotal role of women to the continuity of their communities and their traditional way of life.

Elder Profiles:

Mary Benoit
Mary was born at Lac La Nonne on August 27, 1903 but has lived in St. Albert for most of her life. She married Pat Benoit in 1922 and together they raised nine children. Mary has twelve grandchildren, twenty-three great grandchildren and fourteen great great grandchildren. The majority of these children still reside in the St. Albert and Edmonton Area. Mary lived independently until February 2003 and now resides in a nursing home.

Bella Gladue
Bella was born in Sturgeon Lake, Alberta on May 13, 1905 and was raised in Grouard. She married Jim Gladue and together they raised eight children. She has over one-hundred grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Bella currently resides with her grandson and his wife in Grande Prairie.

Flora Cardinal
Flora was born December 25, 1901 and resides in Kehewin, Alberta. She raised eight children and has twenty-four grandchildren, as well as many great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Flora lived semi-independently until November 2004 when she moved to a nursing home. 2

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