Neil Dennis Kematch was born in Birch River, Manitoba on March 9, 1950 to Simon Peter and Bella Anne Kematch. He spent his early years in Sapotaweyak at Bell River Bay with his parents. He graduated from Dauphin in the late 1960’s. He continued his education at Lethbridge Community College and graduated on April 29th, 1972 with a certificate in Social Counseling. He continued his education and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College on October 7th, 1987.
Neil was employed with many agencies throughout his life as a counselor, a field worker in government agencies, a researcher, and as a support worker to various tribal agencies. At the time of his death he was employed as Education Director for the Sapotaweyak Education Authority. His most recent efforts and accomplishments were for the people of the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. His determination to initiate a community based education system was accomplished in September 1994 when the people of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation celebrated the grand opening of the first Sapotaweyak Cree Nation School.
Neil’s sense of humor, determination and visions for his people and community are sadly missed. After 13 years at the temporary school, the new Neil Dennis Kematch Memorial School was finally completed in September 2007. The new facility is a complete K-12 school with over 350 students and 50 staff.
Sapotaweyak Education Authority
Pelican Rapids, MB R0L 1L0
Phone: (204) 587-2115
Fax: (204) 587-2123