Journey by southeast Sask. reveals thriving Filipino neighborhood, ardour for heritage, mouth-watering meals

Journey by southeast Sask. reveals thriving Filipino neighborhood, ardour for heritage, mouth-watering meals

CBC’s digital highway journey sequence Land of Residing Tales explores the hidden gems throughout Saskatchewan. Reporter Laura Sciarpelletti as soon as once more hit the highway seeking inspiring tales of neighborhood, heritage and good meals. 


A few of Saskatchewan’s many municipalities can appear to fly by inside 40 seconds of driving. However regardless of how small a spot is, there are at all times individuals who select to dwell there as a result of they love their neighborhood. 

Simply two days in southeast Saskatchewan reveals a thriving neighborhood of immigrants, a yodeling painter, a chef who returned to his hometown with goals of making scrumptious prime quality dishes, frost-painted trails and the legacy of a historian who devoted his life to preserving historic pictures of his beloved area. 

LOLS 16 Map
(CBC Information)

Residing Filipino in Moosomin

The yr is 2009 and Leo Illustrismo has determined there isn’t any future for him and his younger household in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. 

“There have been numerous competitions. It was exhausting to advance, and so I made a decision that I wished to try to work overseas,” mentioned Illustrisimo in a latest interview.

“I used to be lacking dwelling, lacking my spouse, and there have been occasions after I was questioning my choice. Did I make the precise selection of transferring right here? However I assumed it was a sacrifice that I used to be prepared to make with a view to have a greater future.”

Illustrisimo was employed by Maple Leaf to work in a hog barn not removed from Moosomin, Sask., about 224 kilometres east of Regina. 

The Morning Version – Sask10:09Southeast Sask. spotlights heritage preservation, thriving Filipino neighborhood

Be a part of us for a highway journey on the airwaves. CBC Saskatchewan reporter Laura Sciarpelletti is taking us on a tour of southeast Saskatchewan the place we’ll meet a thriving Filipino neighborhood, a prairie yodeler, a flip of the century picture collector, and way more

When Maple Leaf drove the brand new hires out to their work web site, Illustrisimo realized he was in a spot he’d by no means seen the likes of earlier than.

“We drove for 3 hours and each minute that handed you see the cities getting smaller and smaller and smaller,” Illustrisimo mentioned, laughing.

“It was an enormous distinction from being in a metropolis with 20 million folks to a city with 3,000 folks. It was a tradition shock.”

However Moosomin was very welcoming to Illustrismo, and he started to get entangled locally. Ultimately his spouse and baby joined him. The Filipino inhabitants at the moment was made up of simply six folks, he mentioned. 

Quick ahead to 2023 and the Filipino inhabitants has ballooned to about 300 folks. That’s about 10 per cent of Moosomin’s inhabitants, in line with the Moosomin Pinoy Group, which Illustrisimo co-founded practically seven years in the past. 

The group will get concerned with cultural occasions within the city — dancing and performing in conventional Filipino costume, and sharing conventional meals. 

“We’re so noisy and we love partying and getting collectively. So to ensure that us to be concerned extra locally actions and be acknowledged as an actual group of folks on the town, we determined to determine the Filipino neighborhood right here,” mentioned co-founder Jylenn Valdez, initially from the northern Philippines. 

“It was robust in the course of the time as a result of, after all, though we got here from the the identical nation, we got here from completely different locations in within the Philippines. We have now completely different ideas and we now have completely different beliefs.”

Local business owner Ria Lladones (left), and Leo Illustrisimo and his daugher Gracie are all members of the Moosomin Pinoy Community.
Restaurant proprietor Ria Lladones, left, enterprise proprietor Leo Illustrisimo and his daugher Gracie are all members of the Moosomin Pinoy Group. (Laura Sciarpelletti/CBC)

As soon as they settled on their shared values and objectives for the group, Moosomin Pinoy Group flourished. 

Newcomers flocked to jobs within the hospitality sector and the native potash mine. 

“We assist one another. Each time everyone begins off on a brand new job or a brand new enterprise, we at all times ask how they’re doing, give recommendation on what to do with mortgages, how you purchase your first dwelling,” mentioned Illustrisimo.

Did You Know?
(CBC Information)

Now, some Filipinos in Moosomin have their very own companies, together with Illustrisimo. And extra are arriving on a regular basis. 

“The Filipino inhabitants is rising and rising. It is rising. We really feel essential, we really feel at dwelling. We had been capable of introduce our personal cultures and our personal practices right here. Having our group acknowledged, we are able to proudly say that that is our second dwelling from the Philippines,” mentioned Valdez. 

Eli Barsi: small city, huge voice

Eli Barsi was raised as a farm lady on the prairies of southeastern Saskatchewan, about an hour from Moosomin. 

A gifted musician with 17 albums so far, Barsi has spent three a long time touring the world with music spanning the banjo, guitar, bluegrass tunes, nation rock and, sure, even yodeling. 

“Any person requested my husband just a few years in the past, ‘That yodeling factor. That is a dying artwork, is not it?’ And he mentioned, ‘No, it simply sounds that approach,'” Barsi mentioned, laughing. 

She mentioned yodeling is particular as a result of it evokes emotions of nostalgia in all ages. 

Eli Barsi has worked for over 30 years as a full time professional singer-songwriter, musician and yodeler.
Eli Barsi has been a full-time skilled singer-songwriter, musician and yodeler for greater than 30 years. (Submitted by Eli Barsi)

Even after dwelling overseas and incomes approval for her work, she selected Moosomin to name dwelling. When COVID-19 hit, Barsi’s touring schedule freed up and she or he started portray in earnest.

“If I simply sit down and paint what I would like, I’ll be portray the Prairies and my environment, as a result of that is the place my coronary heart is.”

Barsi just lately opened an artwork gallery in Moosomin referred to as Prairie Woman Presents & Gallery the place she sells her work.

She additionally nonetheless travels throughout.

“Irrespective of the place I’ve lived and the place the place I journey with my exhibits, I really feel it is essential to wave the Saskatchewan flag all over the place I’m going and educate folks, particularly whenever you’re south of the border. Lots of people haven’t any clue.”

Eli Barsi's paintings can be found at Prairie Girl Gifts & Gallery in Moosomin, Saskatchewan,
Eli Barsi’s work may be discovered at Prairie Woman Presents & Gallery in Moosomin, Sask. (Submitted by Eli Barsi)

Cork & Bone Bistro

Chef Jarrod Slugoski of Moosomin spent 16 years working on the famed Fairmont Château in Lake Louise. However when his son was born, he knew the tucked-away mountain life would not lower it any extra. 

“I assumed, properly, if I’ve the flexibility to carry one thing to the hometown that I wished to boost my son in, then I feel my choice is fairly straightforward,” mentioned Slugoski. 

He moved again to Moosomin and opened a restaurant specializing in connoisseur consolation meals. Schnitzel, braised lamb shank, mussels, Malabar rooster pasta and different eclectic dishes adorn the menu. 

“We put our twist on issues,” he mentioned. “It’s totally various and it sort of fits everybody’s wants.”

Jarrod Slugoski is the owner and maître d' of Cork & Bone Bistro in Moosomin.
Jarrod Slugoski is the proprietor and maître d’ of Cork & Bone Bistro in Moosomin. (Laura Sciarpelletti/CBC)

Cork and Bone Bistro opened in October 2019. COVID-19 happened three and a half months later, however Slugoski pivoted to weekend takeout within the following months, and phrase of mouth — a really highly effective software in small cities — saved the restaurant alive. 

“I noticed that dwelling on a mountaintop for 16 years made me miss the closeness of neighborhood, the kinship. It is a actually nice household oriented vibe on this city.”

Moose Mountain Provincial Park

It is a gentle winter morning in Moose Mountain Provincial Park, close to Kenosee Lake, and the path forward is partly packed down already.

Birch Forest Path winds round Pickerel Level for about two kilometres, and it is a Saskatchewan snowshoers dream. As an alternative of the huge flat prairie that lies outdoors Moose Mountain, the path is thick with birch forest and frost-laden branches. 

Moose Mountain was designated a park in 1931 and options quite a lot of trails for mountaineering, biking, ATVing and snowmobiling. 

It is an ideal reminder that the temperature would not must be within the pluses for Saskatchewan residents to expertise the surprise of the province’s parks.

Birch Forest Trail at Moose Mountain Provincial Park is two kilometres of family-friendly winter wonder.
Birch Forest Path at Moose Mountain Provincial Park is 2 kilometres of family-friendly winter surprise. (Laura Sciarpelletti/CBC)

Birch Forest Trail at Moose Mountain Provincial Park is fun year-round. But wintertime has its own particular magic.
Birch Forest Path at Moose Mountain Provincial Park is enjoyable year-round. However wintertime has its personal specific magic. (Laura Sciarpelletti/CBC)

The legacy of Adrian Ok. Paton of Arcola

Adrian Ok. Paton was in his 50s when he started accumulating authentic historic photographs taken in southeast Saskatchewan. 

Paton was born in the course of the Despair and spent most of his life farming round Arcola, about 184 kilometres southeast of Regina.

His fervour for historical past led to the publication of his 2018 guide An Sincere, Genial and Kindly Folks. The guide is full of pictures of First Nations folks from the flip of the century in southern Saskatchewan. 

“When he acquired began in one thing like this guide, it consumed him. He simply had tunnel imaginative and prescient for it. He liked it. The whole lot he may do, each spare second he had went in to writing that guide,” mentioned Brad Paton, the elder Paton’s son.

"For many years, after Dad had left the farm, he still returned every day to feed his cats. He would never admit he loved those cats, but he did. This picture was taken in a shed on the farm where he had set up a heated “cat condo." Dad had the best smile and the kindest eyes. Many people remarked about his kind eyes." -Valerie Guillemin speaks about her favourite recent photo of her late father Adrian Paton.
‘For a few years, after Dad had left the farm, he nonetheless returned every single day to feed his cats. He would by no means admit he liked these cats, however he did. This image was taken in a shed on the farm the place he had arrange a heated “cat condominium.” Dad had the most effective smile and the kindest eyes. Many individuals remarked about his type eyes,’ says Valerie Guillemin about her favorite latest picture of her late father Adrian Paton. (Laura Sciarpelletti/CBC)

The historian died in January 2021 on the age of 86. Later that yr he obtained a posthumous Saskatchewan Heritage Award for his guide. His daughter Valerie Guillemin accepted the award from Saskatchewan Lt.-Gov. Russell Mirasty on his behalf.

Guillemin mentioned echoes of her father’s ardour for southeast Saskatchewan will dwell on by all of the analysis he did. 

“He had numerous pictures of Indigenous folks, and he spent numerous time working with the Indigenous folks within the space and others that may have the ability to assist determine a few of the folks within the photographs,” mentioned Guillemin.

“He labored actually exhausting to make these photographs come to life by the tales that had been related to them and the folks in them.”

Valerie Guillemin holds a photo of her father Adrian K. Paton as she accepts his posthumous Saskatchewan Heritage Award for his book 'An Honest, Genial and Kindly People' from Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor Russell Mirasty.
Valerie Guillemin holds a photograph of her father Adrian Ok. Paton as she accepts his posthumous Saskatchewan Heritage Award for his guide An Sincere, Genial and Kindly Folks from Saskatchewan Lt.-Gov. Russell Mirasty. (Submitted by Valerie Guillemin)

Connie Large Eagle, chief of Ocean Man First Nation, wrote the introduction to Paton’s guide. She first met him at a museum exhibition of his {photograph} assortment in Arcola. 

“Instantly he was very heat and welcoming,” Large Eagle mentioned. “He was sort of giving me the tour and we had been strolling down this hallway and I centered on this one image and he mentioned, ‘Oh, that is Outdated Salt.’ And I mentioned to my niece, ‘That is my nice grandfather!'”

The longer term chief mentioned she would hear about Outdated Salt in tales when she was rising up, however she had by no means seen a photograph of him.

“It was so superb,” she mentioned. “That was the precise {photograph} that caught my eye.”

Large Eagle mentioned Paton was very conscious of repatriation and appropriation. She mentioned he was respectful when interviewing First Nations peoples about photographs in his assortment.

“He can be talking about one particular person or one incident, and there can be two completely different variations of this story. However he did not argue about which one was true. He would inform each the tales to be respectful to each events,” Large Eagle mentioned.

Guillemin presently has Paton’s total assortment of artifact replicas and authentic pictures, which the household hopes might be on show in a museum once more in the future.

“It went throughout southeastern Saskatchewan from museum to museum, and lots of people went and noticed that. If it went to Vancouver or additional, he would have been ecstatic about that,” Brad Paton mentioned of his father. 

Guillemin additionally plans on repatriating a few of the pictures to folks whose ancestors are within the assortment. 

Paton leaves behind his farm and land simply outdoors of Arcola. There lies a small mound he referred to as Hawk Hill, the place he piled up 10 toes of rocks. 

Valerie Guillemin stands next to some of her late father Adrian Paton's collection of First Nations items from southern Saskatchewan.
Valerie Guillemin stands subsequent to a few of the First Nations merchandise replicas from her late father Adrian Paton’s assortment in southern Saskatchewan. (Travis Reddaway/CBC)

Over time he seen it as a logo of his reference to the land and nature. Beside the rock pile is a plaque with the names of Paton’s members of the family. Right now his kids see Hawk Hill as part of their father’s legacy. 

“What he would need you to recollect can be to revere the earth and sky. To perceive how the land is essential. To grasp how the inhabitants of the land are essential and to tie that into your personal life, as a result of it grounds you,” mentioned Guillemin. 

“If the significance of the land and of nature and of these issues, it will assist you to by your life. It is helped me by mine, and that is due to the teachings of my dad.”

Paton’s beloved pictures will eternally give folks within the southeast a visible illustration of that historical past and connection.

Brad Paton, son of author and collector Adrian Paton, stands at by his family's plaque at Hawk Hill, located southwest of the farmyard where Adrian lived for most of his life.
Brad Paton, son of creator and collector Adrian Paton, stands by his household’s plaque at Hawk Hill, situated southwest of the farmyard the place Adrian lived for many of his life. (Laura Sciarpelletti/CBC)