Forty Year Journey – Activism – Blockades – Battles – MMIW
THUNDER BAY – Gary Wassaykeesic says that he felt that the world stopped and everything went quiet. After thirty-nine years, Gary Wassaykeesic was standing in a hospital room, in Sioux Lookout facing the man that he believes murdered his mother.
It has been, for the Mishkeegogaming First Nation man, a journey that started when he was a small boy, and going to Residential School in Poplar Hill First Nation where months after his mother died that he was told. It took months after he found out that he was allowed a short visit to his home community where he started, at age 11 to ask people what really happened.
Wassaykeesic says that people in the community where his mother was killed told him who did it, and how it happened.
For years, Wassaykeesic has been increasingly engaged in activism, all with a core effort to find out what happened, and to find and confront the man who he says murdered his mother.
That effort has led Gary to blockades, to protests, and to helping in his home community of Mishkeegogaming First Nation where he has been involved in two furniture drives.
On finding out the man he believes is responsible for his mother’s death, Gary made a journey to Sioux Lookout. He travelled to the hospital, and stood face to face with the man.
That long quest was completed last week.
“Its over, its done”, states Gary. His quest has led him in many directions, but always with a focus on his mother’s murder.
Today, Wassaykeesic says he is more at peace, and is looking for authorities to step up and do the work needed. However he also says if that never happens, he knows that there will be judgement on the man who he believes is responsible for the murder of his mother.
The damage to Gary’s family has been extensive – losing a Mother, Wasaaykeesic says is tearing away from him and his family.
All of Gary’s work has changed him, He is now far more engaged and connected. He says the days of blockades and major protests might be over.
“I’ve learnt a lot, I have learned my own history,” says Wassaykeesic.
The three part video interview offers you the opportunity to hear the story, directly and unfiltered from Gary Wasaaykeesic.