The electoral system was brought by the Canadian government and imposed upon nations who with hereditary chiefs. It was was meant to bring equality and prevent oppression. If this has happened, it is only through the strength, determination and honour of leaders like Jessie Louie.

Klahoose First Nation
Stand Your Ground by Odette Auger, Deep Root Island Waves

She was the first woman chief of Klahoose, elected at a time when women in leadership roles were few.

Jessie was the chief who brought water to Klahoose… a perfect metaphor for a woman who is a source of strength and support for her loved ones. That water still flows, and like all Jessie’s work, ripples outward with lasting effects.

Returning to Squirrel Cove in the late 1990s, she was elected to counsel three times.

Chief Kevin Peacey is her son.

“Be humble and respect your people” is Jessie’s advice to leaders, and she quietly leads the way in all her work. Jessie’s life is a legacy of promoting Indigenous women’s rights in communities, inspiring healthy paths as drug and alcohol counsellor, and preserving culture for the future as language coordinator. E’mote Jessie Louie, and also thank you to voices collected in tribute to Jessie: you will hear Chief Kevin Peacey, councillor Michelle Robinson, language warrior Jacqueline Mathieu, community member Georgina Silby.

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Odette Auger, Sagamok Anishnabek

The past 5 years have been focused on fundraising and project management, youth programming.

With Deep Roots and Island Waves, I have thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative process, and am excited to have facilitated new and ancient talent, skills, specialists and voices to our community. The opportunity to also write and produce in this series is an honour.

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