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Memorable Manitobans: Aylmer “Elmer” Courchene (1936-2018)

Indigenous leader.

Born in the Sagkeeng First Nation on 16 August 1936, son of Paul and Sarah Courchene, he attended the Fort Alexander Residential School and Le bret Indian Industrial Residential School then played hockey with the Pine Falls Paper Kings. He moved to Winnipeg to study welding and met his future wife Delores there, marrying her in 1962. They moved to Pic River First Nation (now known as Biigtigong Nishnaabeg) in Ontario and he worked in the Marathon Paper Mill before serving as Band Manager (1980-1989). He joined in wife in a community drug and alcohol program before returning to the Sagkeeng First Nation where he was a spiritual leader. He became resident Elder of the Assembly of First Nations in 2005 and served as Chair of its Elders Council. He died at Pine Falls on 5 December 2018 and was buried in Biigtigong Nishnaabeg.

Sources:

Anishinaabe elder Elmer Courchene, chair of AFN Elders Council, mourned by leaders,” CBC News, 5 December 2018.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 December 2018.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 December 2018

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