Honouring the Late Senator Dennis Crane
The late Senator, Dennis Crane, was very passionate about Indian politics and education often encouraging his children and grandchildren to further their education something Senator Crane did following his political career.
He was born on the Key First Nation, December 10, 1947 to Clifford and Gwendoline Crane. He got into politics when he was elected Chief of the Key First Nation in the late 1970’s. He continued his political career as Chief of the band during the 1980’s.
Senator Crane supported his family working a variety of different jobs that included working in the oil patch, driving truck and working as a social worker just to name a few. He was also very creative enjoying drawing, writing and carpentry. His daughter, Denise Brass, says her dad started building a miniature church right next to the Crane Family Cemetery. "It is not quite done yet, but with the help of family and friends, it will get finished."
In the late 1990’s, Senator Crane decided to go to university and didn’t take long to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Indian Studies from the University of Regina in federation with Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, May 25, 2001. Later that year he received a certificate for attending the 2001 Program of Legal Studies for Native People at the University of Saskatchewan. Then in 2005, he received a Bachelor of Indian Social Work from the First Nations University of Canada.
Senator Crane was appointed to the FSIN Senate in 2007 by the Yorkton Tribal Council. Yorkton Tribal Council Chief Gilbert Panipikeesick described to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix that Senator Crane worked hard for First Nation people. “He was a strong advocate for the Veterans and treaties.”
Senator Crane was working on the Visions of our Elders Project with the Good Spirit School Division. He was helping to put together First Nation stories, legends and histories of the three reserves, Cote, Keesekoose and Key, by incorporating into the local school curriculums along with the teaching of the Treaties.
At the time of Senator Crane’s passing, Key First Nation Chief Clarence Papequash told the Saskatoon Star Phoenix Senator Crane was very knowledgeable. "When you lose somebody like that, it's like a library burning down. If we lose one of our elders, it's the same thing. All the knowledge and everything goes with that person. It's tough, it's difficult and it's not easy."
“My dad kept a journal which I now have and one of his outlined quotes is ‘Where there is no vision the people perish.’ My dad always had a vision, he was always making lists and plans,” says his daughter Denise. “One of the last things he said to me though was, ‘I just need a good rest.’ This was the night before he passed. I know he is rested now and in a better place. I still hurt from the loss of him not being here, but I am at peace with his passing. I will see him again in Heaven.” Senator Dennis Crane passed away on June 27, 2012.