Beatrice Mary Wilson (1916-2006)

Beatrice was born at Opaskwayak Cree Nation to Edwin and Alice Jebb. She later married Charlie Wilson and together they raised their five children: Stanley, Jocelyn, Henry, Irene and Marjorie. They also played a significant role in caring for their grandchildren and even a great-granddaughter.

Beatrice was a strong advocate and leader for OCN (known then as The Pas Indian Band). She became the first woman Councilor for OCN and was our first Community Health Representative. Unyielding in her pursuit of health and well-being for OCN, her legacy of determination will live on.

Beatrice Wilson Health Centre

The Beatrice Wilson Health Centre at the Opaskwayak Cree Nation was designed to highlight the strength and pride of its People.

The circle as depicted in the floor plan design is a universal symbol of unity and the circle of life. This Medicine Wheel or "quartered circle" may be seen as a representation of a sacred space or the sacred Earth.

The Tree

At the centre of that circle within our centre proudly stands the Tree.

Trees may often be regarded as the medicine people of the plant kingdom because they are rooted and contained beings. They are unwavering yet flexible which allows them to bend in the wind without breaking. Because of this trees symbolize the process of healing and transformation. Roots are the past and how we honour our heritage and Ancestors; the trunk is the present; the branches are future goals.

The Tree that stands in our facility was selected and hand-carved by a local artisan. It was chosen to represent the proud and unwavering resiliency of the people of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

The Teepee

From the Tree extends the teepee. The teepee may be regarded as the spirit and body of Woman. She is the keeper of the home fire and represents the foundation of family and community. It is through Her that we learn the values that bring balance into our lives. That is why the construction of a teepee requires ceremony to celebrate the value of Woman's teachings.

Four Elements

Other features within the Beatrice Wilson Health Centre represent the spirits of the four primary directions or the four Elements of the Air, Earth, Fire and Water.

Air or Wind

As you approach the facility, you are welcomed by the Feather motif on the windows. Then as you walk through the doors of our health centre you can behold the Feather canopy gracefully floating in the main reception area. The Feathers represent the strength of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and symbolize the power of Air and Wind. Since possession of a Feather commands responsibility for its well being, it must be cared for and kept out of harm's way. It is a daily reminder of how to behave.


As you journey through the Beatrice Wilson Health Centre you are caressed by the soothing colours of the land. These "Earth" tones remind us of our responsibility to utilize our gifts of wisdom and knowledge as caretakers of Mother Earth so that we can ensure her health and preservation.


At the centre or heart of the building is the traditional or spiritual room. One of the features of this room is the fireplace. For many, Fire symbolizes the heart of the People. It is present at all ceremonies in one form or another from smoke in a smudge bowl to a pipe carrying prayers to the Creator to the blazing fire at a Sun Dance. Fire cleanses the spirit and represents cleansing and renewal of our people. For out of the ashes come new growth, new thoughts and new ways of being.


The face of the fireplace is covered in rocks from the Saskatchewan River. They are the connection to the Water and represent the regeneration of our people. River rocks can come in all shapes, sizes and colors because they have been smoothed by the forces of water and friction so that there are no sharp edges. These rocks remind us that the rock is changed by the river, like a person is changed by life experiences.

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