For the South Peace News
‘Darrel’s Bobcat Service,’ owned by Darrel Laboucan, won the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) – Region 5, Business of the Year Award, 2019.
Laboucan started in business in the spring of 1988, working for a number of years at East Prairie Metis Settlement.
Over the years, Laboucan worked for many of the municipalities and institutions in the region. He cites the MD of Smoky River and Holy Family Catholic Regional Division as always being supportive.
His first big job was at the McLennan Hospital and Laboucan says he was grateful for that opportunity as they hired him through the entire project, from start to finish.
He also worked for Larry Lamoureux with the Town of McLennan and says that Lamoureux always treated him fairly, hiring him to plant trees and for bobcat work.
These days, Laboucan’s work often takes him to some areas north of Smoky River, such as Grimshaw, Peace River, and east to Red Earth, Keewatin Tribal Council Education, Lubicon Lake Band, Cadotte Lake Band, often being called to these locations to install chain link fences, a skill for which Laboucan is greatly in demand.
On “Darrel’s Bobcat Service,” receiving the MNA Region 5, Business of the Year Award, Laboucan says he must share the honour with his wife of thirty-five years, who has always stood by him.
He also said he would like “to take his hat off,” to Nora Chapdelaine for nominating him, how she has always been welcoming and friendly when he runs into her and that she is never “afraid to share strong Métis knowledge and speak her tongue.”
Laboucan praised the MNA’s new Regional Vice President, Dan Cardinal, for being very helpful in getting him to Edmonton for the awards.”
The Métis Nation of Alberta is comprised of six regional areas. Each area has a regional council consisting of a President and Vice-President and council members from within the region. The Region 5 Council is situated in Slave Lake.
The MNA’s mission is “to pursue the advancement of the socio-economic and cultural well-being of the Métis people of Alberta.”