NAN mourns the passing of educator, artist Goyce Kakagemic

Former deputy chief of chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation was instrumental in founding the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

THUNDER BAY – Members of Nishnawbe Enough Nation mourns the loss of artist, educator and former deputy chief goyce kakegamic.

kakagemic, who served as Deputy Chief Executive from 1997 to 2006 and from 2012 to 2015, was instrumental in founding the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and also helped launch the Embrace Life Program to help youth develop the life skills needed they need and strategies for healing .

kakagemic also helped develop Oshkipimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute and an Aboriginal vocational school in Dennis Franklin Cromarty Secondary school.

Born in 1948 in Sandy Lake First Nation, he was the brother-in-law of famed Native artist Norval Morrisseau, who, along with Cree artist Carl Ray, influenced his artistic side.

kakagemic and his brothers founded the Triple K Co-operative to empower First Nations Artists to represent themselves rather than having to live up to the expectations of non-Indigenous publishers.

“I have had the pleasure of being under goyce and was touched by his determination to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our members, especially our youth. Driven by conviction and grounded in faith, goyce was not shy about expressing his feelings and never wavered from his beliefs no matter how great the challenge,” said NAN Deputy Head Bobby Narcissus, speaking on behalf of the Executive Council.

goyce was passionate about education and the well-being of young people and their families. He was determined to close the significant gap students experience in our communities compared to those in urban centers. He led a tremendous amount of work to ensure that our young people had quality educational opportunities and took every opportunity to encourage and support them throughout their academic careers.”

kakagemic, who died at age 73, was also a school counselor in Red Lake in the 1970s and 1980s and received a honor doctorate by Lakehead University for his work to improve the lives of Indigenous people.

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