Mushkegowuk Elder Marguerite Wabano Passes at 111 Years of Age

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Marguerite Wabano
Marguerite Wabano

Marguerite Wabano
Marguerite Wabano

THUNDER BAY – First Nations across the North are mourning the passing of Mushkegowuk Elder Marguerite Wabano.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, on behalf of the Executive Council, expressed condolences on the passing of Mushkegowuk Elder Marguerite Wabano, Canada’s oldest residential school survivor who passed away today in Moosonee at 111 years of age.

“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss this inspirational woman and respected leader and our prayers are with her family and friends at this difficult time. Marguerite attributed her extraordinarily long life to her ability to forgive and her wisdom and compassion is an inspiration for us all. She survived one of the worst chapters of Canadian history and we hope that she lived to see the dawn of a new era in respectful relations between First Nations and the Government of Canada.”

Marguerite Wabano was born in 1904 along the Ekwan River, north of Attawapiskat First Nation, and attended St. Anne’s Indian Residential School at age 7. Widely known as Gookum (Cree for grandmother) she was given a seat of honour in the House of Commons for the federal government’s historic apology for the residential school system in 2008.