2017-01-12 / Columns

All About The Town

By Betty Browning

On a cold and sunny winter day, a group gathered for lunch at the old McCann School multi-purpose room in St. Ignace Friday, January 6. The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has owned the old school lunch building for years, and it is here that they offer meals for elders every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from noon to 12:30 p.m. Everyone over 60 is welcome, with a suggested donation of $1 for tribal elders, and $3 for non-tribal elders.

In the kitchen were head cook Connie Cadotte and kitchen aide Ilene Moses, both from St. Ignace, preparing to serve a healthy, wholesome meal to the elders who were arriving.

Mrs. Cadotte has cooked here for 16 years, and Mrs. Moses has worked with her for four years.

Between 10 and 20 meals are delivered by Mrs. Moses every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to home-bound elders in the area, and that they will serve an average 18 to 25 elders at the center, also.


At left: Enjoying lunch are (clockwise from left) Patty Boynton, Jerry Garries, Brenda Garries, and Ollie Boynton. At left: Enjoying lunch are (clockwise from left) Patty Boynton, Jerry Garries, Brenda Garries, and Ollie Boynton. This day they were serving macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, green beans, pears, and bread.

These women were not just confident in the job they were doing, they were truly happy to be cooking here, knowing that this meal they were preparing was for the nourishment for these elders and their guests.

At the tables that had been set up, I was greeted with a big hug from Helen Hyslop, mother of Connie Cadotte, of St. Ignace, and a warm handshake from her husband Otto.

The others at their table were Ed Lester, Blair Pemble, and Don Johnston, all of St. Ignace.

At another table, I found Richard Lapine, Patty Satterlee, Leonard and Sally Valentine, Phyllis Colegrove, Delores Calcaterra, Rosemarie Moses, Carlean Perrault, Jim Huyck, and Louie Colgrove.


Connie Cadotte (left) and Ilene Moses. Connie Cadotte (left) and Ilene Moses. Seated nearby were the chairperson for the Unit 3 Elder Committee for the Sault Tribe, Brenda Garries, and her husband Jerry, Vice Chairperson for Unit 3, Lawrence “Lumpy” Leveille, and also seated with them were Ollie and Patty Boynton, and Dell Powers, all of St. Ignace.

Dick and Jean Bentley sat nearby, visiting with Sharron and Larry Lasley. They joked that they would break my camera, but I chanced it and took their picture, anyway.

As the room began to fill up, the cooks came out and announced the meal was ready. Everyone stood and faced the wall where the American flag hung, and they all began to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

When they had finished, they all began to say a prayer to the Great Spirit for the food they were about to enjoy. This was the first time I had heard this prayer, and I was moved by the words and the pride I heard in their voices.


Cook Connie Cadotte serves (from left) Patty Satterlee, Richard Lapine, Blair Pemble, and Don Johnston. Cook Connie Cadotte serves (from left) Patty Satterlee, Richard Lapine, Blair Pemble, and Don Johnston. A line then formed at the food table, where Connie and Ilene began to serve the elders.

I realized as I watched this group of happy people, that it was not just about the meal they were sharing, it was the joy of seeing each other, of being able to visit, and being thankful they had each other and these dedicated cooks who had made another nourishing meal for them.



Don Johnston. Don Johnston.

Above: (Foreground, from left) Dell Powers and Lawrence Leveille visit during the meal. Above: (Foreground, from left) Dell Powers and Lawrence Leveille visit during the meal.

Friends (from left) Rosemarie Moses, Delores Calcaterra, Leonard Valentine, Patty Satterlee, and Richard Lapine sit together at lunch. Friends (from left) Rosemarie Moses, Delores Calcaterra, Leonard Valentine, Patty Satterlee, and Richard Lapine sit together at lunch.

Dick and Jean Bentley of St. Ignace. Dick and Jean Bentley of St. Ignace.

Sharron and Larry Lasley. Sharron and Larry Lasley.

Ed Lester (left) and Blair Pemble. Ed Lester (left) and Blair Pemble.

At left: Helen and Otto Hyslop attend the lunch program. At left: Helen and Otto Hyslop attend the lunch program.

Connie Cadotte in action in the kitchen. Connie Cadotte in action in the kitchen.

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