Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit Passes

Grand Chief Stan Louttit
Grand Chief Stan Louttit

Grand Chief Stan Louttit
Grand Chief Stan Louttit
Moose Factory, ON – Aboriginal UPDATED – It is with sorrowful hearts that Mushkegowuk Council announces the passing of Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit in the early hours of this morning. The Grand Chief was at home with his beloved family at his side.

He will always be fondly and dearly remembered by the Citizens of Mushkegowuk and especially the Council of Chiefs and the staff of Mushkegowuk Council. Deputy Grand Chief Leo Friday acknowledged the loss of his friend and mentor. “During this sad time we will honour and remember the great work of our Grand Chief. Stan was an exceptional example of what can be accomplished by passion, determination and perseverance. Our loss will be especially felt by the young people of Mushkegowuk to which he dedicated so much of his energy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time of loss.”

Grand Chief Louttit in January 2014

Stan Louttit was first elected Grand Chief by the people of the Mushkegowuk First Nations in 2003 and continued his role even while struggling with cancer for many months. Arrangements to acknowledge his life are being organized and will be announced shortly.

Stan Louttit was a member of Fort Albany First Nation but grew up in Attawapiskat First Nation and has been involved in First Nations governance for more than 25 years. In 1988, he received the Governor General Medal for Bravery for his assistance during the Winisk Flood. He also worked at the Moose Factory General Hospital and was chairperson of Mushkegowuk Council from 1992 to 1993.

He was twice elected as Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) deputy Grand Chief, a post he held from 1994-99. He then worked as CEO for Moose Cree First Nation. Since being elected as the Mushkegowuk Grand Chief, Louttit has served to protect the rights and interests of the seven Mushkegowuk communities.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Executive Committee offers condolences to the family, friends and all those touched by the life and work of Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit who passed away today at his home in Moose Factory, Ontario.

“It is with sincere condolences that I offer sincere condolences to the family of Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit, and all Mushkegowuk peoples and communities, on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations” said said Ghislain Picard, AFN Spokesperson and Regional Chief for Quebec-Labrador. “Over the course of three decades, Grand Chief Louttit fulfilled a number of leadership roles and was honoured and awarded for his tireless efforts and his ability to affect change for the people he served. He is a respected leader across Ontario region, and his contributions to First Nations will continue to impact and inspire our peoples across the country.”

Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit passed away early this morning following a courageous battle with cancer. He was serving his third consecutive term as Grand Chief of Mushkegowuk Council, a position he has held since 2003 elected directly by the citizens of the seven First Nation communities in Mushkegowuk territory located on the James Bay coast. He lived on Moose Factory Island with his wife Sharon of 40 years. He has four daughters and eight grandchildren. He was 64.

“Grand Chief Louttit will be dearly missed,” said AFN Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy from Toronto where First Nation leaders, Elders and citizens are currently gathered for the 40th Annual All Ontario Chiefs Conference where they offered condolences and prayers. “We honour his long-standing leadership and a lifetime of commitment and dedication to First Nations people and Nations, to asserting and protecting the rights of the Mushkegowuk peoples and forging the way forward to new opportunities while always respecting the vision of the ancestors.”

Ontario Chiefs-in-Assembly today offered condolences and prayer during the 40th Annual Ontario Chiefs Conference to the family, friends and all Mushkegowuk citizens and leadership, following the passing of Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit today.

“On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, I offer sincere condolences to the family, friends and all First Nations in Mushkegowuk territory on the passing of Grand Chief Louttit,” added Regional Chief Stan Beardy. “Grand Chief Louttit fought a courageous battle against cancer and through it all still represented his territory and people to the best of his ability. I worked with him for many years. He will be dearly missed.”

Over the past 30 years, Grand Chief Louttit held many leadership positions and given many awards of distinction for his hard work, dedication and his ability to affect change for the communities that he served.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Harvey Yesno and the Executive Council joined with First Nation leaders across NAN to mourn the loss of Mushkegowuk Council Grand Chief Dr. Stan Louttit who passed away this morning following a lengthy and courageous fight against cancer.

“Grand Chief Louttit’s contributions to the people of Nishnawbe Aski are immeasurable and the loss of our dear friend and respected leader will be felt across NAN territory,” said NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno. “We give thanks for his life of service and friendship and our thoughts are prayers are with his family and the Mushkegowuk communities at this difficult time.”

“Grand Chief Louttit was committed to the protection of First Nation Treaty rights and worked tirelessly to educate community members and the general public about the significance of our Treaties,” said Yesno. “Stan Louttit dedicated his distinguished career to improving the quality of life for the people of Nishnawbe Aski. And while his loss is immeasurable, we pray that his spirit will live on through our leaders for generations to come.”

He was instrumental in bringing awareness of the water crisis in Kashechewan to the government in 2005. That year, he was presented with the Emile Nakogee Award for Leadership at the NAN Keewaywin Conference. Later, he helped to raise awareness of the housing crisis in Attawapiskat and other First Nations.

In June 2012, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Nipissing University for his 25-plus years of devotion in the field of politics, which he received alongside former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Stan Louttit was last acclaimed Grand Chief of Mushkegowuk Council August 3, 2011 for a term of four years. This was Stan Louttit’s third term as Mushkegowuk Grand Chief.