G. C. Huston Principal honoured by First Nations for years of service

Lorne Payless (C) performs an honour song as Principal Dan Russell is presented
with an honour Pendleton blanket
(L-R) Crystal Roote, Caitlyn Kewageshig, Principal Dan Russell and Lorne Payless
in traditional regalia
Young singers, drummers and dancers

Principal Dan Russell is winding down his days as principal of G. C. Huston Public School, ‘Home of the Hawks’ and, on Friday, June 8th, he was honoured by Saugeen First Nation at a mini Pow Wow.

Russell is seen as the initiator of instilling connections with Saugeen First Nation and indigenous peoples throughout the community.  He often took part in the men’s drumming corp, has learned to speak many words in Ojibway and has promoted the sacred Grandfather teachings of the First Nations.

Dan Russell wears his ‘Honour Pendleton Blanket’ proudly
Crystal Roote with Principal Dan Russell in his honour blanket

Russell who is on the eve of retirement with only four years remaining in education, is moving to another school in Owen Sound.

On June 21st however, his final goal of naming the bridge that crosses the Saugeen River between Southampton and Saugeen First Nation, will be realized.  In an historical moment, the bridge will receive the new name of ‘Zgaa-biig-ni-gan’, which means ‘we are connected’ and will feature the grandfather teaching banners.

Saugeen First Nation will also be holding a dinner and presentation in Russell’s honour on Thursday, June 14th at the James Mason Centre at Saugeen First Nation and everyone is invited to attend.  There is no cost for the event.