Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a great leader and a good personal friend, Randy Kapashesit, chief of MoCreebec on Moose Factory Island. The people of the James Bay are shocked that a leader who had so much vision was taken from us so suddenly.
Randy was an advocate for aboriginal equity. His vision for sustainable cultural and economic development for the MoCreebec people involved the building of co-operative housing and the immensely successful ecolodge on Moose Factory.
Randy also had an international vision. He worked with the United Nations North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus. He was planning for the 2014 conference.
However, Randy also loved music, ideas and people. Whenever we were in the presence of Randy, we knew we were in the presence of someone who was very profound and special.
I am deeply sorrowful that I cannot be there with his family and community as they say goodbye. However, on behalf of the New Democratic caucus, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to his partner Donna, his children Waseyabin and Ajuawak and the people of the Moose Factory region who have lost a great leader.