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Appreciation of town’s relationship with Nekaneet

Posted on March 31, 2022 by Maple Creek

Barry Elliott is set to step down as administrator in Nipawin to take on the job of CAO at the Town of Maple Creek on April 25. Two weeks ago, the News-Times spoke to him while he was in Maple Creek house-hunting. The main article from that interview appeared in last week’s paper. Here he talks about his wife, Carmen, and their appreciation of Indigenous culture.

Barry Elliott lights up when asked about his wife Carmen’s interest in art. He loves talking about her.
“My wife is a designer by trade, but she’s amazing with doing art classes for people,” he says. “She has worked out of schools with youth at risk, really promotes health and healing and focuses on structure through art.
“She’s incredible. I’m so proud of her, she’s amazing.”
Elliott mentions Carmen’s involvement with Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just outside Fort Macleod.
“She was working with a number of youth at risk, most of them were Indigenous, which just happened to be the circumstance. She worked so well with them that they actually had their first ever Indigenous art display at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump; it’s quite a coup, quite an achievement. Their work is absolutely amazing, these youths were really involved in the arts and she worked with them extremely well. I know she is very proud of that.”
Elliott adds that Carmen has been a welcoming ambassador for the province and social inclusion co-ordinator for communities.
It is an example, he says, of her appreciation of relationships with “all of our neighbours” – something he shares.
He is aware of the pride that Maple Creek takes in its relationship with the Nekaneet.
“It’s a long history, and Maple Creek is rightly proud of that relationship. We got to know some of the history when we were in Fort Macleod because Maple Creek shares some of that history with Fort Macleod. Different stages, but very much the same, with the North West Mounted Police.
“My dad was a career Mountie, so it is instilled in us and we love that historical element to it and the camaraderies that were developed.”
Elliott says Carmen is already known in Maple Creek because she has done some work with Royce Pettyjohn and the Cypress Hills Destination Area. She also created the logo for Cypress Hills Grasslands, the CHDA’s new name.
“She has done some work for the Town of Maple Creek in the past. She is more known here than I am. I know she is going to continue to do design, but beyond that well, let’s just get settled here first and see what opportunities there are. She is going to be very busy, I think.”

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