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A good story that coincides with the upcoming Christmas season

Nice to see that sometimes, good people stay good people when they win lots of money:

It was a massive lottery jackpot, called the biggest single-family win in Canadian history. And now, on the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, about 100 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, signs are starting to emerge of the generosity of the couple who last month won $50 million…The Fontaines are slowly making changes in Sagkeeng, doling out money they won in the Western Canada Lottery Corp. jackpot with the measured caution of longtime philanthropists… On a recent day, a handful of men are clearing and burning brush on the side of Sagkeeng’s winding road. It’s tough work, made harder by the -37 C temperature. This is one of Kirby Fontaine’s make-work projects. “He wants to beautify the community,” says elementary school principal Rick Fewchuk. To that end, Fontaine hired a number of local men, offered them $100 a day and put them to work.

Marie is apparently buying a number of ready-to-move houses and having them shipped to the reserve. Housing here is as deplorable as on most reserves…Their largesse has helped the three local schools. The couple has taken on the costs of the hot lunch and breakfast programs. For Fewchuk, that means a large savings, budget money he can put back into the school. It also means children aren’t trying to learn while their stomachs rumble.

I’ve always been a big believer in the Charles Dickens philosophy expressed/used in his “A Christmas Carol” book that those who have the means to do good have a responsibility to do so, and so it’s heart-warming to me personally to see that this couple believes in that creed – that the “common welfare, charity, mercy, benevolence is their business”. As an aside, its a rather unfortunate and telling statement about the current failed governmental policies towards our First Nations communities that it takes a lucky lottery win bestowed upon good people that is the reason for this First Nations community to start getting out of its squalor and run-down state.

That’s another story however, and this story is as one person said “a real true-life Christmas story”, that I wish and hope there are more of.


4 comments to A good story that coincides with the upcoming Christmas season

  • Roll Tide

    Lotteries and Gambling are probably the worst thing for natives and non-natives alike.
    They fuel addiction and sloth. The lottery win is a financial only band-aid for a very tiny few people. The massive number of losers end up with wrecked lives.
    At a huge social cost.

    All sanctioned by every government, of every party, of every level.

    • @Roll Tide, way to be a Christmas Grinch. Can’t you conservative types try to find some “good” out of a story, instead of being so negative all the time? Is that just in your folks nature?

      There’s no doubt gambling addiction is a bad thing… but I was highlighting a story that shows that a couple of level headed folks who stayed level headed and have done what they could to use their wealth for good.

      • Roll Tide

        @Scott Tribe,

        Point well taken from Scott, the mans heart is huge.
        I hope it all turns out well.

        I have seen first hand the destruction gambling and lotteries have on personal lives. Homes lost, divorce, theft, you name it.
        Lotteries are a tax on the poor, its the most regressive form of government income.
        When stories, however well intentioned and seemingly good, appear in the media, the lottery corporations eat it up. They
        sell more tickets.
        The money government reaps is offset by the huge social costs. In the end, to me at least, we are all the losers.
        I remember life in Ontario with out lotteries. The ’76 Olympic Lottery changed all that.
        I suggested to Jim Flahrety, when he was Ontario finance minister to phase down all lotteries, and all non native Casinos. Lets just say he was not very receptive.

        Have I ever gambled or bought a lottery ticket, yes.
        Two tickets were purchased and a slot machine was used some 25 years ago. Utter foolishness on my part.

  • When I read this yesterday, I was blown away too. Never thought of it in the context of Christmas, though? Glad you did. Its appropriate. Good thoughts – Good words – Good deeds.

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