Community Leader Chief Norman Brown Passes
THUNDER BAY – Aboriginal News – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Harvey Yesno and the NAN Executive Council today expressed condolences following the death of long-serving Wapekeka First Nation Chief Norman Brown who passed away on Thursday.
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our dear friend who gave so freely of himself to improve the lives of the people not only in Wapekeka First Nation but across all of Nishnawbe Aski,” said NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno. “We honour and celebrate his life of leadership and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Wapekeka community at this difficult time.”
Norman Brown was a long-serving Chief and was Deputy Chief at the time of his passing. He was widely known for his efforts to address the issue of suicide in First nation communities and worked tirelessly to protect community members, especially children, from falling into desperation and despair. He was the driving force behind the Survivors of Suicide Conference, which has been held annually in Wapekeka for more than 20 years.
“Thanks to his leadership, Wapekeka has made tremendous progress on suicide prevention and we give thanks for his efforts to honour the memory of those we have tragically lost to suicide and to support the healing process for survivors,” said Yesno. “Norman made tremendous contributions to improve the quality of life for his community over his many years of leadership and he will be fondly remembered as a champion for his people.”
Wapekeka First Nation is a remote community located approximately 450 kilometres northeast of Sioux Lookout.