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Pine Dock beach.


said Alfred. “Otherwise you won’t be able to afford to operate it when the funding runs out!” Te women were incensed and quickly called Drew Cringan who then worked for Lloyd Axworthy. Next thing you know, Al- fred was called up on the carpet for daring to interfere with their project. “I was just doing my job,” Alfred ex- plained. “I didn’t block it — I just gave them some advice.” In the end the women listened to this cheeky, young aboriginal man and a smaller kiln was purchased. Tey also rewarded Alfred in appreciation with a fruit basket filled with goodies. After four years of working in the


system, Alfred determined that he wanted to go to university. He got a place to live with Dr. Denton Booth, the former Medical Coroner, and en- rolled in science classes leading to a medical degree. But it wasn’t long be- fore reality set in and Alfred realized he couldn’t afford to pursue this career. He left to go back to work after two


years but not before he met Daniel and David Putter from Equinox In- dustries. Tey wanted advice on some new products for the North — at the time, they were making polyethylene tanks. Alfred came up with the Big Boggan, a boat-shaped, light-weight


thehubwinnipeg.com Pine Dock area holds many surprises, like the local caves.


sleigh that could be pulled behind a snowmobile to


carry freight —


whether it be firewood or fish. Today, a spin-off of the boggans is also sold as a rescue product. At one point, Alfred met a young man named Mike Birch. He saw something special in this kid, who was smart and energetic, so he suggested Mike should start an on-reserve store which he did at the Garden Hill Re- serve. Ten they thought it would be


cool to have their own soft drinks and so the Aboriginal Beverage Company was born. Alfred learned a lot during this process, at one point earning ad- vice from Richard Branson, who cre- ated the Virgin Group. Branson, who was thinking about


starting a private label beverage com- pany, was in Winnipeg to receive a Humanitarian Award from the Asper School of Business. At the presenta- tion Mark Benadiba from Cott Bev-


Spring 2017 • 13


Photo by Alfred Lea.


Photo by Alfred Lea.


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