All are available now at the Lee Funeral Home in Regina, according to this story by Tim Switzer of the Regina Leader-Post.
“The problem is nobody has ever expected a funeral home to have these items,” says Greg Kulak, general manager of Dignity Memorial, which operates the home. “Because they never expected us to have them, they never demanded that we have them,” he added.
Kulak says members of First Nations would call an elder, or send someone back to a reserve, as far as 100 miles away, to obtain them.
Other funeral homes are providing similar services, according to Switzer’s story:
Roy Crazyhorse-Bison, who grew up as the son of an undertaker on a reserve in Oklahoma, is now an an elder on the Ocean Man First Nation 45 kilometres east of Regina. Now 57, Crazyhorse-Bison prays for and tries to comfort the sick and prepares families to deal with the grief that comes with death.
He has often seen the difficulty families can have in finding everything they need for the traditions of some First Nations funerals.
“To offer the blankets and the society shirts and burial moccasins, (those) will carry them for their journey back.” he said. “The items that are going to be carried were very hard to come by, very expensive.”