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June 3, 1933 - November 9, 2012
Aboriginal leader Jim Sinclair passed away with his family by his side on November 9, 2012. For over 50 fifty years, Jim championed Treaty and Aboriginal rights of Indigenous peoples and left an indelible mark on the international stage that will be felt for generations to come. As a founding member of both the Native Council of Canada and the Metis National Council and past President of the Association of Metis and Non- Status Indians of Saskatchewan (AMNSIS), Jim's passion and commitment to equal justice for his people will live on forever. His great oratory ability moved people and governments to deal with Aboriginal people's immediate needs and rights. His work led to the creation of many institutions including the Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Saskatchewan Native Economic Development Corporation, Metis Addictions Council, Urban Native Housing Corporation and Provincial Metis Housing Corporation. In 1982, he was one of the prominent leaders that successfully lobbied to have the Métis included in the Canadian Constitution. Widely recognized for his work, Jim received numerous awards including the Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Canadian Senate, the Metis Women of Saskatchewan, the Metis National Council and the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. Recently, the FSIN Assembly of Chiefs honoured Jim for his hard, dedicated work protecting Treaty Rights. Jim would also take his Treaty and Aboriginal Rights stand around the world speaking at the European Parliament. He was personally invited by the Prime Minister of Australia to speak on Indigenous rights, and held a private audience with Pope John Paul II on four occasions to discuss Aboriginal rights and issues. Many friends and leaders that were fortunate to have worked with him will miss Jim's leadership and guidance. These friends were present at many of the speeches he delivered in his lifetime. Jim will truly be missed by his former wife Agnes Sinclair and their children, son, Brian (Trisha), daughters, Wendy (Zenon), Kim (Chad), Fern (Richard), Karen (Pat), and Amanda (David), 19 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren. Brother, Doug and sisters, Marlene and Beatrice, numerous nieces and nephews, his special in-laws Clarence and Alice Pratt and his friend Bernice Hlady. Jim is predeceased by his parents, John and Helen Sinclair; in-laws, Gilbert and Katie McNab; granddaughters, April and Angel; great granddaughter Isabella; brother Lorne Sinclair and friend Bob Blind. Jim will also join his oldest son in the spirit world, Kenny, past Chief of the George Gordon First Nation and CPGA Golf Professional. The family wishes to thank Dr. M Khan and the nurses at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre, Pasqua Hospital. A celebration of Jim's life will commence with his wake on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at Banner Hall, Evraz Place and his service will be held on November 15, 2012 starting at 10:00 a.m. at Banner Hall, Evraz Place with Art Anderson and AJ Felix officiating. Interment will take place at St. Luke's Anglican Church, Gordon First Nation and feast to follow at the Gordon Education Centre.
Published in The Regina Leader-Post on Nov. 13, 2012