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Born: Apr 09, 1961

Date of Passing: Jul 16, 2017

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DONNA GAIL SUTHERLAND April 9, 1961 - July 16, 2017 Peacefully, with her family by her side, Donna Gail Sutherland passed on July 16 after a four year long and hard fought battle with cancer. Donna will always be remembered for her sass and fiery redhead spirit. Donna had such an energy to her, all that knew her appreciated her wisdom and strong spiritual connection. Donna was a woman of many talents. She grew up barrel racing, riding horses, highland dancing and driving a semi-truck across Canada. Donna's pride and joy were her three kids, Amanda, Nicolas and Katie. As much as she would hate to admit it, she would let them get away with anything. They could never do wrong in her eyes. Donna and Bruce shared a beautiful life together; taking many trips to Sioux Narrows, sailing at Gull Harbour and spending every Friday going out for dinner. Donna would sit and talk with you for hours over coffee or a beer or two. Donna loved to visit and share stories. Donna had many stories to tell, a few of which she wrote into short stories and novels. She certainly had a beautiful way with words, as can be seen in her two books "Chief Peguis, A Noble Friend", and "Nahoway, A Distant Voice". Donna had a love for all of nature; she had a strong connection with Blizzard the white buffalo. Donna would want us to share about her love for all things red, her constant need for chapstick, and her connection to eagles and blue butterflies. She was also known for a love of the casino and had luck that nobody could ever quite understand. Donna was predeceased by her father Edwin, her favourite corgi Hannah, and her shepherd Quila. She is survived by her mother Francis, husband Bruce Bolster, her children Amanda (Justin), Nicolas (Mel) and Katie (Melissa), and her stepson Doug (Kayla). She is survived by her siblings Ron (Brenda), Sandra (Terry), Lynn (Gary), David (Colleen) and Tim (Marianne), as well as many nieces and nephews whom she adored. She is also survived by her granddaughter Ella who lit up her face with a smile anytime she entered the room. Donna had a heart of gold. She will be missed dearly by all of us that knew her. There is comfort in knowing she is no longer suffering but also a deep sadness that we are without her presence. Donna was never afraid of death. In fact, she already knew that heaven was a beautiful place having been there for a pit stop. She would want us all to take some comfort in that. As Donna told us all many times in her last days "just enjoy life". A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 21, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. in the Gilbart Funeral Chapel, Selkirk. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Seven Oaks Museum, 50 Mac Street, Winnipeg, MB R2V 429. Condolences may be left at Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk in care of arrangements.
Publish Date: Jul 19, 2017

DONNA GAIL SUTHERLAND Peacefully, on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at her residence in Clandeboye, MB, Donna Sutherland, aged 56 years, passed away. A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 21, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. in the Gilbart Funeral Chapel, Selkirk. Full obituary to follow. Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk in care of arrangements.

Publish Date: Jul 18, 2017

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 19, 2017

Condolences & Memories (18 entries)

  • I too, at this late date, am sorry to hear of Donna's passing. I was browsing the internet today for some family history insight into the Orkneys and the early history of workers for HBC and lo and behold-Nahoway was also my grandma. I can't believe it. I should have looked up Donna's name when I saw she had such a desire and connection to the past and want - no, need to read her books. I wish so much to speak with Donna and now, to dream with her instead. - Posted by: LISA ROBINSON (Cousin) on: Sep 19, 2022

  • Dear Dr. Bruce Bolster, I'm very sorry for the passing of your soulmate. Although, Mrs. Sutherland is not here with us on earth, you and I both know, she is right there closer to your presence than you may feel some days. You've shared with me many strengths and gifts she has and for that, you're very lucky to have met a woman who knew so much about this life but also, a very deep understanding of the other side that most people can't even bare. She will always be in your heart and will be another angel to guide you in life, through spirit and prayer. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time and praying for your hearts and minds to be flourished with many of her special and enlightening stories that are one of a kind. I'm looking forward to reading some of her books mentioned and now, I know she will hear me thinking of her too<3 Sincerely, Ashley - Posted by: Ashley (Friend) on: Jan 16, 2018

  • I was sorry to hear about Donna's passing. My heartfelt condolences to her family. I got to know her after taking her course at the University of Winnipeg on Nahoway and then Peguis. She opened my eyes to the Indigenous history of Manitoba. She invited me and a dear friend Norma Dietz - recently departed to attend her circle of friends lectures at the Selkirk Library. We met her for lunch occasionally in Selkirk. She will be sadly missed. A lovely spiritual person - Posted by: Earl Palansky (Student/ friend) on: Aug 20, 2017

  • I am so saddened to hear about Donna's passing. She was a wonderful woman. I feel grateful for the time we spent together, especially the first time when she agreed to meet me, then a complete stranger, in Winnipeg and take me on a tour of Nahoway's life in the area. Once we started talking, we didn't stop. She told me about her beloved children and of the book she was then writing which would become Life Sucks. We talked about having red hair. She told me about her abiding love for Corgis (and I told her about mine for schnauzers) and we talked about being step-moms. We talked about finding the partner of your dreams. We talked about finding your purpose in life, your grand project. Her grand project, learning and sharing the stories of Nahoway, has made many circles bigger and enlarged many hearts. I've been on the road all summer, but the one book I chose to take with me was Nahoway: A Distant Voice. And it is Donna's clear voice I've been hearing as I read. My heart goes out to her family and friends. I am so sorry for your loss. She had a bouyant, radiant spirit. And spirit never dies. Much love to you all. May your many joyous memories of Donna bring you solace. RIP Donna. - Posted by: Shelagh Rogers (cousin, friend, descendent of Nahoway and William Sinclair) on: Aug 17, 2017

  • I was so sorry to hear that Donna passed away. We had many enjoyable times working on various topics at Seven oaks Museum. I had researched the Inkster family for the museum and she was a great help for her family branch. I will miss her and will always think of her when I visit the museum. - Posted by: Alison Poetker (Friend) on: Aug 06, 2017

  • My deepest condolences. I recently discovered my Metis heritage. Nahoway and William Sinclair were my very great great granparents. It was in my attempt to order Nahoway A Distant Voice, that I discovered Donna had passed. My heart and prayers go out to your entire family. Much love to you all. Sincerly, Debbie - Posted by: Debbie Cullen (Descendant of Nahoway and William Sinclair) on: Jul 31, 2017

  • So sorry that this special person has left our planet, but glad she is no longer suffering. I met Donna about 10 years ago and felt a strong connection to her ever since. She was one of the most spiritually aware people I have ever known. She seemed to have a connection to "the other side" that most people do not have, and perhaps she is now, finally, able to spend more time with her great-great-great-great grandmother, Nahoway. My deepest condolences to her family and close friends, who will, along with her books -- a great contribution to Manitoba history -- ensure that she will not be forgotten. - Posted by: Barbara Shewchuk (Friend) on: Jul 20, 2017

  • My condolences to the immediate family as well as the Sutherland family. I remember as a young child riding horses with Lynn at the Sutherland home. May you find comfort in the encouragement of friends and family. - Posted by: Roberta (Penner) Scott-Herridge (Friend) on: Jul 20, 2017

  • Bruce, I spoke with you just a couple of days ago at Silver Harbour. I was not aware Donna was ill. I am truly shocked. Bruce, you and your family are in my prayers. I hope to see you on 'Sanibel' in the near future. Jack + - Posted by: Rev'd Jack Barrett (S/V Journey Just Begun) on: Jul 19, 2017

  • As a descendant of the Inkster-Sinclair family (original residents of Seven Oaks House), Donna provided invaluable information and suggestions. Her work in writing our tour guide is especially appreciated; and her generous legacy will live on in the life and work of this museum. Sincere condolences to Donna's family and friends. She will be deeply missed and gratefully remembered. - Posted by: Barbara Kelly (colleague at Seven Oaks House Museum ) on: Jul 19, 2017

  • Our prayers and thoughts are with the family...Donna will be missed by many...gone but always in our heart and soul... - Posted by: Linda (Cronin) and Mel Hause (Friend) on: Jul 19, 2017

  • Sorry to hear about this-clearly Donna cut her own swath in Sutherland fashion. Condolences to the family. - Posted by: Jerry Sutherland (cousin) on: Jul 19, 2017

  • Donna and I grew up together, and we definitely shared a few adventures, alot of laughs and a few beers. There were countless horseshows, Selkirk fair, poker rallies, 4-H, skidoo rides, sledding on the creek and dirt bike crashes, where someone might have broke a collarbone. I will remember the good times. Rest easy my friend your battle is over. Susie ❤️ - Posted by: Susie McDonald (Friend) on: Jul 19, 2017

  • So sorry to hear of Donna's passing. We will miss meeting her on the back road. Our sincere condolences to all the Sutherland Family. Randy and Karen Dewar - Posted by: Karen and Randy Dewar (Friend) on: Jul 19, 2017

  • you will be miss my dear friend, when I seen you, you always had a smile that could bring me up. I had a chance to see you in the fall and you told me that your journey was coming to an end and that I should not be sad for you were going to see everyone there. love you and journey on lady. - Posted by: Wendy Serger (Friend) on: Jul 19, 2017

  • I remember Donna as a very young girl with tons of energy and a big heart. So much love shared among her brothers and sisters. Our deepest sympathy and prayers to her family and friends. She will be a shining star in heaven watching over all of you. Geraldine & Lyle - Posted by: Geraldine and Lyle Beuckx (Neighbour years ago) on: Jul 19, 2017

  • Dear Katie, I'm so sorry to hear of your momma slipping into the spirit world. I understand the spirit world is a safe haven. Your mom will continue to watch over you and guide and protect you from the spirit world just as she did from this world. Watch for her signs as the days slip into years. Take care Katie and stay strong. Hugs Meryle. - Posted by: Meryle Campbell-Peters () on: Jul 18, 2017

  • So sorry to hear of Donna's passing. I have recently discovered her book of Nahoway's life and realizing that my family's roots are deep in the history of both the HBC as well as the Metis of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Peace be with you and your family. RIP Donna. - Posted by: M. Stephen Ross (Distant Cousin) on: Jul 18, 2017

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