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Anishinabek Nation mourns death of respected elder

Gordon Waindubence began his journey to the spirit world Nov. 24
Gordon Waindubence, 2019 - By Laura Barrios
Respected elder and former Anishinabek Nation Head Getzit Mishomis Gordon Waindubence died surrounded by family in Sheguiandah First Nation Nov. 24.

The Anishinabek Nation has announced that its former head getzit mishomis Gordon Waindubence died Nov. 24, surrounded by family at his home in Sheguiandah First Nation as he began his journey into the spirit world.

In a news release issued by the Anishinabek Nation Wednesday evening, Waindubence was credited for providing its leadership guidance and direction in building a nation with deeply-rooted tradition, culture, and Anishinaabemowin.

“It is during this time that we send our thoughts and love to his family and loved ones. We are forever grateful to his family for selflessly sharing their patriarch with us in this lifetime,” said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe in the news release. “As his journey to the spirit world begins, he will be greatly missed earthside. His Spirit will have many songs and prayers in his honour from across the Anishinabek Nation that will help guide him along his way.

“His teachings and kindness extended to each of our 39 communities and beyond and will continue to be shared well into the future. On behalf of the Anishinabek Nation, we express our unending gratitude to getzit and his loving family. Baa maa pii.” 

Waindubence sought to bring back the traditional clan system and create an Anishinaabe constitution, or Chi-Naaknigewin, in order to strengthen the traditional governance structure. 

The Anishinaabe Chi-Naaknigewin was developed in consultation with First Nations leaders and citizens over the course of 13 years. The consultation process was carried out according to proper protocols, rules, order, and ceremonies - which included dodemaag (clan) teachings led by Waindubence.

The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 member First Nations across Ontario, representing approximately 65,000 citizens.