Photographs of Shoal Lake / Pakwaw Lake 2005-2007

=== by Bob Sutherland ===

This web page contains some video slideshows displaying my collection of photographs from my two years of teaching in a place with two names. The First Nation band called themselves the Shoal Lake Cree Nation. But there are many small communities across Canada that are named Shoal Lake. I passed a Shoal Lake First Nation community near the Trans-Canada highway in northwestern Ontario and then a Shoal Lake farming community in Manitoba on my first trip to Shoal Lake in Saskatchewan to start my teaching employment.

It may have been the Post Office that tried to rename the community Pakwaw Lake back in the days before postal codes were invented. There was no Post Office in Pakwaw Lake when I was teaching there. The nearest Post Office was in a community called Carrot River about 80 kilometres away.

An interesting observation is that to the best of my knowledge there were no rocky shoals in Shoal Lake. I read on the Internet that the name was probably a mistranslation of the native word for shallow lake.

According to a map that some federal contract workers were displaying at an economic development workshop Shoal Lake is nothing more than a flood plain. Some years the Carrot River overflows its river banks creating the illusion that there is a lake while other years the flood plain may be completely dry.

I searched many times but never found anything resembling a firm shoreline or beach around Shoal Lake on which I could go for a walk. Instead the lake is surrounded by a quicksand like bog into which a person or animal could quickly sink and disappear forever.

The following are silent video slideshows of my photographs. I did not record any sound. All videos will start with the same short introduction before you see the photographs.

Film Camera Photos

These are photographs of the community taken with a film camera.

Digital Camera Photos

These are photographs of the community and a few taken inside the school using a digital camera.

Student Protest Walk

These are photographs of the school participating in a protest walk to raise community awareness. The theme of the protest walk was "Abuse". This topic could include many different but often inter-related issues taught in the health curriculum at various grade levels.

My students took many of these photographs using my cameras.