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Memorable Manitobans: Sidney Castel (1934-2003)

Trapper, musician, story teller.

Born at Pukatawagan (Matias Colomb First Nation) on 30 March 1934, he first supported himself by fishing and trapping. He worked on the railway in the 1950s and was later employed as a hospital orderly at Swan River and The Pas. He was a self-taught singer-guitarist who delighted listeners with stories and impromptu performances. In 2000, he won the First Annual Pukatawagan Talent Search with his song “The Ballad of Pukatawagan,” which became the number one song on the NCI (Native Communications Inc.) radio network, and in 2001 he released an album “Live at the Beaver Lodge.” He was interviewed and sang for the CBC and CTV television in 2002. He was known as the singer who “put Pukatawagan on the map.” He had 12 children and over 60 grandchildren. He died at Leaf Rapids on 21 March 2003.

Sources:

Sidney Castel, The Pukatawagan Song Aboriginal Music.

“They will never be forgotten” by Kevin Rollason, Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 2003, page A6.

This page was prepared by Ian Stewart.

Page revised: 29 January 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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