|Honorary Degree recipient, J. Myo, 2006 (University Secretary scans)|
Convocation date: May 23, 2006
Discipline / contribution: community service ; history - treaty governance
Citation / biographical information:
Jimmy Myo is a prominent elder in the Saskatchewan First Nations community and particularly knowledgeable concerning Treaty Governance and Justice issues.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Elder Myo is first and foremost a family man. He has been married to his wife Ena for 45 years. They have seven children. He speaks publicly to the need for us to return to the tradition of respecting women. He is the leader of his family and has ensured that all his children have access to their culture and tradition.
Speaking his language fluently is a great asset. Elder Myo has been involved in putting the ceremonies of his people in the ways that his father and mother strictly taught.
His father was a farmer and he learned many skills as a child. He lived in a non-Aboriginal community near Cochin and this experience has taught him to build relationships with non-indigenous people in the province. This lesson has served him
well over the years. During this time, Elder Myo was also an accomplished saddle breaker and bareback rider on the prairie rodeo circuit. Elder Myo supported his young family, travelling wherever there was work, and for years worked on highway construction in the province.
Elder Myo served as Band Chief for three years, and a Band Councilor for 15 years. Even when he was not an elected official, he was a leader in the community. He was the first person from his community to be able to offer a local bus service for the children. He was instrumental, quite recently, in the building of a new school at Moosomin. These examples demonstrate the commitment Elder Myo carries to youth, to education and to his community.
Elder Myo has given lectures and classes on treaties throughout the province from primary to university students. His commitment to treaty is demonstrated in a book by Drs. Harold Cardinal and Walter Hildebrandt, Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan. Elder Myo is quoted throughout this book, but the quotation that stands out as symbol of the man he is, reads as follows:
"We got no business to give it up, we got no business to sell that land. We got no business to lease that land. We got no business to make any kind of deal on that land, but when the White man came to make a deal with us, the old people knew that we could try to treat them like our own relatives, so that they could use that land to the depth of a plow."
This promise, "the depth of the plow", is one of the central treaty understandings in this region. His knowledge of the treaty and the frequency with which he has been quoted demonstrate the degree to which Elder Myo is a respected treaty historian in this area.
More recently, Elder Myo has served as a Senator for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. He has also been a member of the Wanuskewin Indian Heritage Inc. Board of Directors for the past five years. He is respected as an Elder throughout the province. His work with FSIN includes assisting the Office of the Treaty Commissioner at the Exploratory Treaty Table. He has worked extensively with OTC over the last few years.
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