1. How many hats do you wear at Flying Dust First Nation?
A: Well, a while back I had a few responsibilities, as I was filling two positions within Flying Dust. I was both the manager of operations and maintenance, and manager of FDB Gravel Inc. I supervised road maintenance, snow removal, garbage service and general upkeep within the community. On the FDB Gravel side, we are a full-range gravel crushing and delivery operation. I have been here going on four years, and business hasn’t been better. We deliver product all over the Northwest.
- What is the current status of the ongoing remediation work along Railway Avenue?
A: The remediation project is almost wrapping up, but it’s a slow process on the testing side. Every few metres we sample the dirt, bottle it up and send it to the lab. With this process, we can determine if we need to revisit a spot and do further excavations. Our goal is to return the excavated area to its original state and give it a clean bill of health. The dirty or contaminated soil is trucked out to an approved waste facility and then clean, certified fill is replaced. We hope to start the CN trestle bridge removal soon, as that will be the final part of the remediation project.
- What are some of the other major projects currently in the works at Flying Dust?
A: Flying Dust has a strong, progressive leadership. We have a great group of people to work with and have a few projects on the table. Once the remediation project is finalized, we will be developing commercial lots along Railway Avenue. I think the railway development will complement the city’s need for expansion and growth. Other projects include working on a drainage plan within Flying Dust, and another multi-space office building. We also plan on paving the road to PineRidge Ford Place right up to the Elders’ Lodge, as well as the road that runs through our main village area. PineRidge Ford Place has an expansion planned, and possibly a large youth facility could be realized in the near future.
- I understand you’re also an avid golfer, as well as a chuckwagon racing fan.
A: Avid golfer, yes. Good golfer, no. I do like the sport and the overall atmosphere while on the links. I also sit on the Meadow Lake Golf Club’s board of directors, and am proud to say Meadow Lake has one of the best kept courses in Saskatchewan. I usually plan trips around golf courses. The most recent golf trip before the COVID-19 pandemic was to Arizona, Utah and Nevada – all nice courses. When we are free to travel again, I have my eyes set on a few courses in California or maybe a trip to the East Coast. I also love the chuckwagon trail, the people, the equine athletes and a cold beer when the dust settles. Meadow Lake and area has produced some of the best drivers around with names like Mitsuing, Gorst, Nolin, Bremner and Ross. I’ve been around the wagons tfor many years and, in my younger days, my family had an outfit, so it’s kind of in the blood now. I really like how DJ King and Kirby Stanley are grooming the new drivers, and how much work they’ve done to keep the sport alive.
- Tell me about your family.
A: My wife, Holly, works for the provincial Ministry of Social Services. Together, we have three grown children. Shane (Jessica) works at Tolko, Marshall (Jody) works at Flying Dust as an operator, and Keely works as a dental assistant. We have three grandsons – Leearin who’s now 10, “Cowboy” John who is two-and-a-half, and two-month-old Theron. A fourth grandson is expected next month.