My name is Corena Latendre-MacKay. I am from Fairford, which is a reserve now called Pinamootung First Nations, which is the original name of the reserve itself. They changed the name to Fairford to accommodate the English-speaking and the French-speaking people in the area.
I've been in the service going on twenty-one years – from 1984 until the present, which is 2005. What I've been doing since I got in is working within the transportation company of the military. We are now amalgamating in with three other branches as well, which are supply and maintenance of the vehicles.
I'll give you a little background of the Anishnawbe people. The name 'Anishnawbe' is the people themselves and it's the language that we speak, and it's who we are. To make it easier for the English tongue they named it 'Ojibwe,' and to make it even easier for the French tongue, 'Soto.' This is the background of what I was told when I was a young child. Where I come from, my background itself, is that our people have been… well, for instance, one of my grandfathers had signed Treaty No. 2 for the Manitoba region, and my grandfather is Richard Woodhouse – which was his Christian name or baptized name. His English name translated would be "He who flies around the feathers" in our language. And he had signed Treaty No. 2 back in 1871.
The reason why I speak my language at the beginning of this interview is that I think it's important that our people are heard as who they are before they become who they are, and I think maintaining your identity is more important and easier than having to fight for it.