Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day Offers Condolences to Family of Clifford Skead, Treaty #3 Elder known and respected as a language keeper and historian

April 2, 2018 1:52 pm
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(Toronto, April 2, 2018) On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, we mourn together with Chief Chris Skead and his community, the passing of one of the most revered Elders in Treaty #3, Clifford Skead, Kwekigiizhego’nini, of Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation. He was a language keeper, had a wealth of historical knowledge, and was the last original member of the Lake of the Woods Drum Group, formed in the 1970s.

Elder Skead would take the time to provide full dialogue in the Anishinaabe language. Protocols and proper order of presenting the Anishinaabe language are elements of Nationhood that he leaves behind with loved ones, friends, and the entire Anishinaabe Nation. He was also committed towards advancing reconciliation in Kenora and Treaty #3, and provided oral history for a January, 2018 CBC feature, “The Long Road to Reconciliation”.

As Regional Chief, one memory I have of Elder Skead is how remarkable a person he was in his 80s, navigating a boat in the Lake of the Woods like he could have done it with his eyes closed. He was a master mariner, and could speak extensively about all the historical sites along the shorelines. I will always cherish that memory of how privileged I felt being in the presence of someone held in such high esteem by several generations, from youth to fellow Elders.

Elder Skead was the loving husband of Jeannette, Netaaswaashiik, and is a survivor of St. Mary’s Indian Residential School. Last year, he provided the traditional name to Reconciliation Kenora – “Ahze-Mino-Gahbewewin”, which means going back and then going forward in a good way.
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day

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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 or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

For more information, please contact: Bryan Hendry, Policy and Strategic Communications Phone: 613-863-1764 E-mail: Bryan.Hendry@coo.org

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