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Born: Jun 01, 1940

Date of Passing: Jan 28, 2000

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LENA WHITE (WAABI-OJIIG) June 1, 1940 - January 28, 2000 Peacefully, after a short battle with cancer, Waabi-Ojiig walked into the spirit world. Lena grew up on Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. She resided at Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation since 1995. Lena was the daughter of the late Dominic Odjig and Lucy Odjig. She was the beloved wife of Charles Nelson of Roseau River. Lena also leaves two sons to treasure her memory, Stanford and Shannon White, both of Walpole Island, Ont.; their father David White and Charlies children, Zongidaya, Jodee, Anna, Bawbee and Kirby of Roseau River. Also left to mourn her passing are brothers, Frank, Wilfred (friend Denise), Ronnie (Mary Lynn), Gordie (friend Annette) and Clayton (friend Maryann), all of Wikwemikong; sisters, Marcella Clarkson (Chuck) of Millgrove, Rose Marie Trudeau of Wikwemikong and Patricia of Toronto. Lena was predeceased by her sisters, Rita and Lorraine. Lena was also a dear sister to Don (Mary Agnes) of Wikwemikong, Stanley Fisher (Boots) of Sault Ste. Marie, Daphne Beauon (Chester) and Winnie Christian (George) of British Columbia. In-laws, Larry Glover, Margaret Jackson, Alanis King-Odjig as well as many nieces, nephews, relatives, godchildren and friends will miss Lena. Lenas passing will be keenly felt by the Nelson family and her sister and brothers of the Midewiwin Lodge, where she was a First Degree Midewiwin-quay. Lena never hesitated to stand up and do the work that she had committed her life to. Lena was well known for her work in the area of Native language education and participated in the development of the Native Human Services Programme (Hons. B.S.W.) at Laurentian University. She was a teacher of Native language courses in the Native Language Instructors Program at Lakehead University. Lena attained her Masters Degree at York University in the Native Canadian Relations Theme Area in the Faculty of Environmental Studies focusing on human environment and relationships, culture and languages. Lena was uncomplaining to the end. She will be remembered for her energetic and helpful nature. She generously shared her many gifts with members of her community and the Mide Lodge. A traditional community wake will begin on Saturday, January 29 with Mide Teacher, Lawrence Henry at the Roseau River Anishinabe Community Hall. The first water drum teachings in memory of Waabi-Ojiig, as instructed by Mide Grand Chief Eddie Benton Benai, will begin at sunset on Sunday, January 30. Final preparation and teaching ceremonies will begin at sunset on Monday, January 31 and a burial ceremony will be held on Tuesday, February 1 at 10:00 a.m., followed by a feast at noon. Thank you to the staff of the Morris Hospital for their kind and respectful treatment during Lenas illness. Also thank you to family, friends and the Midewiwin Lodge for their support during this difficult time. Morris Funeral Chapel, 746-2451.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 30, 2000

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