Thunder Bay ON – Tommy White, Maanido-Giizhik, of the Lynx Clan had a natural empowering spirit when you met him. Tommy shared a welcoming smile and soothing words. He is one who will truly be missed by many who knew him, as I did. Tommy White has passed into the spirit world, while in hospital in Thunder Bay on January 27, 2019, surrounded by his family.
Our condolences to the White family during this time will be honoured and commemorated.
Tommy had a legacy of service to his community, to the First Nations and organizations in the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty#3. He was the founder and then lead singer of the world-class Whitefish Bay singers which travelled across Canada and the United States. Tommy was a renowned master of ceremony (MC) and will be missed by the Pow Wow community. He was a long-time native language teacher at Baibombeh Anishinaabe School, Naotkamegwanning First Nation and shared his traditional knowledge, support and guidance on traditional teachings, protocols and ceremonies. He was a strong Anishinaabe man who led with quiet strength and humility who offered spiritual support and assistance when approached by others. Ogichidaa Kavanaugh stated,” I have appreciated all of the support and guidance that Tommy has offered to me as Ogichidaa, and know that others before me have also appreciated his spiritual guidance in matters of the Nation”
At the administrative offices of Grand Council Treaty#3, Tommy had been employed as the Cultural Coordinator of the Indian Residential School Support Unit to bring about healing to the families impacted by the residential school and the intergenerational impacts and trauma. The staff of the Grand Council remember Tommy for his unfailing support to all of the work undertaken by all of the units; ensuring that staff were taught about traditional protocols, ceremonies, and our Anishinaabe history. He guided everyone with love, a sense of humour and a willingness to listen and share.
Tommy was an avid outdoorsman who hunted, fished and loved to share his success with others. Grand Council Treaty#3 extends condolences to his wife Isobel, his children, his grandchildren, great grandchildren and the community of Naotkamegwanning First Nation.