Treaty Day activities a sizzling success

You couldn’t have written a better script for this one unless you find 32 C temperatures not to your liking.
Certainly, the heat and humidity did little to put a damper on the fun last Thursday when it seemed the entire community turned out at the Couchiching Multi-Use Facility to celebrate the 132nd anniversary of the official signing of Treaty #3, which marked the beginning of the band’s modern history.
But last Thursday, the commemoration was as much about fun as it was history.
A whole slate of activities, primarily geared toward young people, ran all day. For the most part, things ran smoothly and on time, although two of the more strenuous events—the bike rodeo and a softball game—were cancelled due to the oppressive heat.
In fact, attendance dropped off for a few hours around midday as some people apparently decided the beach was a better place to be during that period, but things definitely picked up again by the afternoon.
The day began with a hearty pancake breakfast, followed by a variety of activities for young and old alike.
The most strenuous activity of the day probably was “The Amazing Race.” Here, teams of three competed in a series of events beginning with wolfing down an entire brick of ice cream.
Then, to help work off some of those calories, contestants had to get themselves out to the Five-Mile Dock, dive into the water, and retrieve a spoon under three metres of water.
Next, the teams had to return to the community and ask people at random, “Do you know the Muffin Man?” Somewhere in the crowd was someone with an envelope, who would present it to the questioner.
Then, it was off to the Heron Landing Golf Course, where someone from each team had to drive a ball off the tee to within 10 feet of a flag positioned 150 yards down range.
After that, they had to sink a 30-foot putt and finish the race with a one-km jog.
The winners were the team of Mike Jourdain, Irvin Lockman, and Andrew Easton.
For the youngsters, there a series of “Fear Factor” challenges—a different one for each age group.
For the six-year-olds, the challenge was to walk (or waddle) over a 25-m course with a water-filled balloon clasped between their thighs (it takes little imagination to picture the consequences of breaking the balloon).
The winners of that race were Brent Jourdain and Landon Woods.
The seven-year-olds, meanwhile, were required to fish marbles out of sandbox containing dew worms while blindfolded. The winner there was Chantal Perrault.
The eight-year-olds were required to run a foot race after donning a pair of filthy, disgusting-looking socks. Here, Cassidy Ottertail emerged victorious, if not fragrant.
For the nine-year-olds, the challenge was to eat as many lemons as possible in 30 seconds. Tiyha Handorgan and Courtney Spade showed the most pucker power.
But it was the 10-year-olds who faced the greatest ordeal. Here, blindfolded, they were required to bob for apple slices in a bowl containing dead minnows and live leeches.
In the end, Charmaine Jourdain proved to have the strongest jaws (and stomach).
For those inclined toward more sedate activities, cribbage and Texas Hold ’Em poker were on the go all morning. When the smoke cleared, Chris Morriseau walked away with the $300 prize after eliminating his poker opponents.
Meanwhile, volunteers toiled over barbecues in the brutal heat to keep the crowd fed with hotdogs and hamburgers. But the real hero was whoever had the idea of bringing in a truckload of bottled water, which was laid out amid bags of ice in two canoes.
These offerings proved to be not only popular, but may well have prevented people collapsing from heat exhaustion.
For supper, there was a fish fry, followed by the magic and comedy of Winnipeg illusionist Brian Glow, who was seen working the room in the afternoon in preparation for his stand-up show after dinner.
By all accounts, a great time was had by all.