November 26, 2012
Ottawa (ON) – Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today offered the following statement of condolence following the funeral service for Mrs. Helen (nee Louis) Gladue, a member of Beaver Cree Nation and descendent of Samson Cree Nation.
“On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations and national executive, I offer condolences to the family and friends of Elder Helen Gladue, and the communities Beaver Lake Cree Nation and Samson Cree Nation.
Daughter of the late Jacob (and Sarah) Louis of Samson Cree Nation, who was descendent of a Treaty signatory, Helen worked tirelessly to ensure respect and understanding of the importance of Treaty in every aspect of the lives of First Nations, including working with the Indian Association of Alberta during the time of the White Paper and Red Paper.
Helen’s commitment and dedication to guiding others and advocating on the basis of First Nation rights and Treaties continued right up until she passed, including efforts in a number of priority areas, including education, health, economic development, social issues and children and youth. She organized the Advisory Council of Treaty 6 Women and coordinated many conferences for women and girls. She spent years seeking justice for the recognition of First Nation Veterans.
Just this past Fall, I was honoured to receive Elder Gladue’s advice and guidance on the importance of unity. During the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs held in Enoch Cree Nation she took time to share these important words of wisdom – ‘At our most difficult times, and now is one of those times, we need strong leaders. Our leaders have to stand strong together and stay strong.’
These words and all her teachings will live on in all the work that we do. I offer our thoughts and prayers to Elder Gladue’s loved ones, the leadership and communities of Treaty 6.”
Helen Gladue passed November 20 at the age of 73. Funeral services and burial took place today in Beaver Lake Cree Nation.
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