“We have lost a great leader, visionary and friend,” stated Board Chair Edith Loring-Kuhanga.
Seenupin, Chief Andy Thomas of Esquimalt Nation passed away suddenly early Saturday morning. He was the Hereditary Chief of the Esquimalt Nation for 47 years. He will be remembered for his dedication and inspiration to the Indigenous community.
“Chief Thomas leaves a lasting legacy behind,” noted Edith Loring-Kuhanga. “He was always the voice at the table who ensured that their cultural history was understood and that First Nation children were represented.”
“When I decided to run as a school board trustee for the Greater Victoria School District, I asked for his blessing. He empowered me to stand up for the interests of First Nation children. He believed in empowering our youth to maintain their cultural heritage and identity in order to survive in today’s complex world. We are forever grateful to Chief Thomas and Mary Anne for always showing their support in our District, particularly with the Esquimalt Family of Schools. He will be deeply missed, not only by our School District, but throughout Vancouver Island.”
The funeral arrangements will be announced this coming week. The Board of Education’s heartfelt condolences are with Mary Anne, their children (Maureen, Ed, Mike, Matthew, Louie, Andrew and MaryAnne Jr.) and Nation during this most difficult time.