Statement from President Chartrand on the Passing of Lawrie Barkwell

September 26, 2019

Statement from President Chartrand on the Passing of Lawrie Barkwell
It is with the heaviest of heart, that I announce the passing of our mentor, teacher and friend… Lawrie Barkwell.
Where do I even begin to sum up the life of this incredible man and friend? How do capture in just a few words what he meant to me and the Metis Nation?
Lawrie was awarded by the Metis Government, and the Metis Citizens, a Honourary Citizenship. He was the first person to ever receive this recognition.
Though not born Metis, my friend Lawrie was in every sense of the word… Metis. He worked tirelessly to teach about our Nation’s Heritage and History. He loved the opportunity to share his knowledge with anyone who would take the time to listen and absorb his encyclopedic knowledge. Even as cancer was taking over his body, Lawrie was out gathering traditional medicines at Ste Madeleine Metis Days this summer and stopping to talk and share like he always did.
My dear friend was an author, historian and lecturer. His writings on the Métis Nation and Culture are some of the most comprehensive and important works available. He was also MMF Representative on the board of directors of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry and an Honorary Elder for the St. Norbert Parish la Barrière Métis Council.
Most importantly he has been our senior historian at the Manitoba Métis Federation’s Louis Riel Institute. He performed this critical work on a volunteer basis! That alone shows his devotion and dedication to the Metis Nation.
Add to all of this, numerous publications and academic papers, the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing in Education and the Aboriginal Circle of Educators Honouring Our Allies Award.
However, Lawrie would likely have told you, the most important honour he ever received was when we made him an Honourary Metis Citizen.
My dear friend, I am forever grateful for your work, your passion for the Metis Nation and your friendship over the decades. As you now join your wife Diana in the heavens above, I wish you peace in your journey. My respect for you knows no end.


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