Todd Papequash is a proud member of the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. As such, his culture means everything to him.
That’s why he was crushed when a box of regalia, or traditional clothing, disappeared from his truck. He’d been driving to Manitoba when it fell out and figured he’d never see it again. Little did he know a kind stranger had his back.
Todd works as a high school teacher, but during the summers, he travels across the continent to multiple powwows, or gatherings for Native Americans to meet, dance, and honor their cultures. These events hold special meaning to him, so when he lost the sacred outfit, he says it felt like he lost a piece of himself.
“I come from a family that has history — we’ve all danced powwow,” Todd told CBC. “”It’s a part of who I am. It’s part of the Cree man that I am. I’m a part of a Cree First Nation — it’s my history, it’s a way to continue my culture, it’s everything to me.”
But lucky for him, Blaine Bateman happened to be driving on the same highway. After watching the box fall onto the road, he pulled over, grabbed it, and brought it home to inspect the contents. When he saw the regalia, he knew he had to get it back to its owner. So, he drove to a powwow in Long Plains and gave the outfit to security.
Todd was so happy to have his regalia back he arranged to meet up with Blaine in Portage la Prairie, where he presented him with a token of gratitude: a framed painting by artist Joe Tapaquon.
“I’m very grateful for what he did,” Todd said. “A lot of people have lost outfits and never seen them again.”
Now every time Blaine looks at the painting, he’ll remember the difference a little kindness makes.
“I’ve done a good thing that turned into a very good thing,” Blaine said. “I’m very happy the man has his stuff back so he can continue on with his traditional dancing.”
This story is a beautiful example of not only being kind to our fellow humans, but showing appreciation for their different cultures! Thank you Blaine, for looking out for your neighbor.
Learn more about how Blaine went above and beyond for Todd in the video below, and share to brighten people’s days!
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