Mr. Speaker, on October 16, 2010, the Gwitch'in people lost their great spiritual leader, Ellen Kyikavichik, at 98 years of age. The Reverend Dr. Ellen Bruce was the first aboriginal woman in the north to be ordained a minister and she dedicated her life to her Lord, her people and her family.
The incredible spirituality of the Gwitch'in people has fortified my faith, and Ellen Bruce was her nation's pillar of that spiritual strength. We only needed to be in her presence and look into those quiet eyes and angelic smile to feel the peace that passeth all understanding.
As her MLA for Old Crow, Darius Elias said, “She loved her people and it showed”. For this lifetime of caring, promotion of the Gwitch'in culture and dedication to the Anglican Church, she received the Order of Canada.
As her eulogy closed, “Grandma, we will remember your smiling eyes, your tender love, your words of wisdom, your sense of humour, warm hugs and beautiful laughter. Though we will miss you dearly, we are happy you are back with your sweetheart”.
Surely she is in the hands of God, amen.