FAVEL, Alfred (Fred) Leonard Joseph
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September 12, 1940 - June 8, 2013
In the presence of his beloved sacred music and inconsolable partner, death set Fred free to touch the face of his God on June 8, 2013. Fred leaves behind his wife Laurel Lemchuk- Favel, and sisters-in-law Myrna (Pierre) Pelletier, Diane (Bernie) Stadnyk, and Gwen (Brandan) Carr; and nephews Eric (Gen) Pelletier, Danny Pelletier, and Eugene (Fran) Stadnyk. Fred's love of classical and liturgical music was nurtured in a Ukrainian Catholic foster home in Portage La Prairie where he spent much of his early years. The endless succession of foster homes and boys schools which followed left the young Cree with extraordinary people skills and an innate wisdom beyond his years. He became a journalist and business man, and was a mediator between native people and the justice system. Fred described himself as simply a writer. One of his proudest accomplishments was The First Citizen, a national newspaper he established in 1969 to help fill the huge information gap in Indian communities. Fred traveled the country providing a voice where needed for reserves. He was one of the early Indian activists in the 1960s and worked behind the scenes to make sure the native message was transmitted loudly and clearly. This theme of empowering Aboriginal people through communication echoed through Fred's career in his own company and with stints at the Assembly of First Nations and the Congress of Aboriginal People. Fred also wrote over fifty portraits of Aboriginal role models, many of which are now in academic libraries across the nation. Fred was the Executive Director of Regina Native Race Relations from 1978 to 1980. Here he established a dialogue between Regina's Aboriginal population and the city police and instituted a native court worker program. Fred also established several small businesses and he stood as a candidate in the 1980 federal election. Fred had a long association with the National Press Club of Canada, gaining the respect of the national media on Aboriginal issues, and the esteem and friendship of a host of fellow members. However, his most important accomplishment in life was as a husband extraordinaire through 36 years of marriage to Laurel. A memorial service for Fred will be held at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor) on Saturday, June 15 at 11:30 am. Reception to follow.
Published in The Ottawa Citizen from June 11 to June 13, 2013