Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald offers Condolences on the Passing of former Chief of Temagami First Nation, Gary Potts

June 5, 2020 9:18 am
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(Toronto – June 5, 2020) On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of, former Chief of Temagami First Nation (Bear Island, Lake Temagami), Gary Potts, who made his journey to the spirit world on June 3, 2020.

“On behalf of Chiefs of Ontario, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of beloved former Chief, Gary Potts of Temagami First Nation,” said Ontario Regional Chief, RoseAnne Archibald.

“As a young leader, he left a strong impression on me and others around him, leading his community with wisdom and experience. Gary Potts represented strength and had a deep commitment to fairness and transparency, and used that to make tremendous efforts in improving his community and preserving Temagami’s sovereignty rights and title to their traditional lands.

My heart goes out to the community of Temagami, friends, and family of Gary, we have truly lost an extraordinary person. I wish him well on his journey to the spirit world.”

A strong First Nations rights protector, Potts also led a blockade of a logging road in the Temagami region between June and Dec. 1989, alongside former Premier Bob Rae, intending to cease the provincial governments proposed expansion of Red Squirrel Road, and for Temagami’s members to preserve and have full control over their traditional lands and surrounding old growth forests.

“Our biggest goal is to remain a distinct people, we must preserve our tribal motherland. It gives us our identity. It is our soul in religious aspects.”

Chief Gary Potts, 1982

Ninanaskamon!

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald

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The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

Media Contact: Scott Cavan, Scott.Cavan@coo.org or cell: 416-522-0706

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