Rance Cardinal returns to Lac Seul First Nation
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Laughter, smiling, and lots of hugging accompanied Rance Cardinal as he returned to Lac Seul First Nation for the first time since he started his 1200 kilometre journey to Humboldt, Saskatchewan more than 50 days ago.
Nearly 100 friends, family members and local elementary school students were waiting for Cardinal at the Lac Seul Events Centre where they had a barbecue set up for the community on June 1.
“We wanted to welcome Rance home, so the Lac Seul First Nation staff really came together to make sure we had something going on for when he returned to Lac Seul,” said Samantha Kejick, who is part of the Lac Seul First Nation staff that organized the event.
When asked about the day he arrived in Humboldt, Cardinal said the community was amazing and they surpassed all of his expectations.
“Unreal. It was unreal. They told me they did their best to welcome me, but they surpassed my expectations. Humboldt is amazing,” he said.
Cardinal described his journey as ‘unreal’, a word he used to describe his first moments back in Lac Seul. He was swarmed by elementary school students that wanted to hug him and give him words of encouragement.
“The kids are our future, and seeing them cheering for me and hugging me is unreal. I just want to provide them with a good example because I know they’re looking up to me now,” Cardinal explained.
“We really wanted the local students to be a part of it. It was emotional, but amazing, to see the kids hugging him and to see all the smiles when he got here,” said Kejick.
Kejick said that she followed Cardinal’s journey every day. She loved watching his live videos on a daily basis, and she saw how quickly his following grew.
“I followed his journey right from the start to the finish, and it was amazing to see how quickly he gained followers. I really loved seeing his live videos every day to see where he was and how he was doing. It was amazing seeing his journey unfold,” she explained.
Cardinal finished by talking about his own healing. He said the 48-day walk helped him finally heal his brother’s death, which was five years ago. Cardinal also said that he feels, personally, that he’s himself for the first time in a while.
“I finally got my Rance Cardinal back. I feel more like myself than ever before,” Cardinal concluded.