NEWS

Twice the fun on one Saskatchewan First Nation

05/25/2015 05:52 EDT | Updated 05/25/2016 05:59 EDT
You could say life is two-riffic on the Big Island Lake Cree Nation near North Battleford, Sask. In the past century, there have been an inordinate number of twins born in the community. 

Elizabeth Heathen lives on the Big Island Lake Cree First Nation. She teaches Grade 8 at the Chief Napew Memorial School. The school and several other Treaty 6 schools have been studying the history of each First Nation. 

Heathen helped her students create a project about what makes their First Nation unique. 

"For us, it's twins," said Heathen, who is herself, a twin. 

Her data shows that since before Chief Joseph Bighead signed Treaty 6 in 1913, there have been 34 sets of twins born on the First Nation. She says that Bighead's grandfather or great grandfather was a twin. 

In the late 1990s, the community started hosting an annual round dance to celebrate twins. 

"When we started the round dance, there were only 12 sets of twins in the community," Heathen said. "In the past 18 years, 22 more sets of twins were born."

Twins are prevalent in Heathen's own family. Her twin sister gave birth to identical twins, as well, and her sister's daughter has identical twins.

Heathen's late brother has twins, and now two sets of twin grandchildren. And another of her brothers has a set of twins. 

As a teacher, Heathen said she can't always tell all the twins apart. 

If you are doing the math, that's seven sets of twins in three generations in Heathen's family. 

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