Canadian Dentist Honoured By Cree Indians

April 8th, 2011
Canadian Dentist Honoured By Cree Indians

Members of the Plains Cree tribe of Indians in Alberta, Canada decided recently to honour a dental professor in recognition for the hard work he has done over many years.

The honour allows Earle Waugh who is 73, and professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, in Alberta to call himself Piwapiskomostos, meaning Iron Bull.

When asked what he thought about the honour, Dr. Waugh told reporters: “It’s an incredible honour.”

It seems Dr. Waugh has been helping the Plains Cree people for around 27 years, not just as a dentist but as a compiler of the Cree Language Dictionary, thus helping to keep the native language alive.

A member of the tribe, Clifford Cardinal, who is a Cree healer remarked at the ceremony to honour Dr. Waugh: “This man has been friends of the Aboriginal Peoples for a long time and has been living in Cree territory for much of his life.

“He has exhibited great concern for the health and well-being of the people and has worked very hard to bring traditional ways into the system.”

A colleague of Dr. Waugh, Quinn Phillips said that the dentist had also been nominated for an award by the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association in recognition of his help in producing videos to educate doctors and the Cree people about cross cultural matters that are medically sensitive.

Ms Quinn said: “Professor Waugh being honoured in this way marks a great step in our department’s ongoing effort to build a lasting relationship with Aboriginal people.”

When asked about his new name, a delighted Dr. Waugh remarked: “A healer goes into the sweat lodge not knowing the final name the spirits will reveal to him. Grandfather spirits make known what the name will be.”

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