It is with deep regret that Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee announces the passing of longtime language and culture advocate, and former Ojibwe language professor, Doris Boissoneau, citizen of Garden River.
Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee noted that she was a passionate and committed promoter of language and culture.
“She had been a long time band counselor and was instrumental in coordinating language conferences in Sault Michigan for many, many years. She also helped start and host Eagle Staff Gatherings over the years. She is truly going to be missed,” stated Madahbee.
Doris devoted many years to the enhancement of her community with her extreme knowledge of language and culture. Through teaching in both Canada and the United States, she has positively affected the lives of many Anishinaabe. She developed and taught Ojibway curriculum for Sault College, the Ministry of Education, Bay Mills Community College, in addition to the many First Nation communities.
Her dream is passing on the language and that passion to fulfill her dream has moved many people emotionally and spiritually. During her time as a language professor, one student was influenced to such a degree that it brought him to tears and a profound epiphany. He followed up by nominating her for the Order of Ontario for which she was selected in 1999. She later sat on the Order of Ontario Board that selects recipients.
The outstanding work Doris Boissoneau has done throughout over 30 years has led her to be chosen for numerous well deserved awards, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and Diamond Jubilee Medal, respectively, Anishinabek Lifetime Achievement Award, amongst many other accolades. Additionally, she was a member of the Elders Senate for Anishinaabemowin Teg, sat on many school boards as a trustee, and began the Eagle Staff Gatherings.
“Her contributions to maintaining our language alive will continue on, her legacy will continue on,” added Madahbee.