Longtime leader of Huron-Wendat First Nation Max Gros-Louis dead at 89

Magella (Max) Gros-Louis of Wendake, Que., gets invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Former Grand Chief Magella (Max) Gros-Louis, who led the Huron-Wendat First Nation for 33 years, has passed away. He was 89-years-old.

“Grand Chief One Onti, on behalf of the Huron-Wendat Nation, we thank you for walking with us and by our side,” said current Grand Chief Remy Vincent in a statement. “You are one of those who forged our Nation.”

Gros-Louis first led the Huron-Wendat Nation from 1964 to 1984, then again from 1987 to 1996 and finally between 2004 and 2008.

He was also a founding member of the Brotherhood of the Indians of Canada, which later became the Assembly of First Nations.

The former Grand Chief was the recipient of numerous honours over the years, including the Ordre National du Merite de France, the National Order of Quebec and the Order of Canada.

“Your life has been devoted to the defence of your Nation and to the promotion of your culture,” said then-Premier Jean Charest when inducting him into the National Order of Quebec in 2011. “You have been a unifier of First Nations. Your heritage is that of the outstretched hand, Nation to Nation.”

Assemly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador chief Ghislain Picard paid tribute to Gros-Louis, saying “His contribution to the influence of the First Nations, as well as his sense of duty, community and fraternity have made him an impressive leader that everyone will remember. Although his departure leaves a great void, his imposing political, cultural and community heritage will remain etched in history forever.”

Quebec Premier Francois Legault took to Twitter to pay homage.

“My condolences to the family and loved ones of Max Gros-Louis. Quebec is losing a leader, a passionate defender of the rights and culture of Aboriginal Nations. It has helped advance collaboration and respect between our people.”


Mes condoléances à la famille et aux proches de Max Gros-Louis.
Le Québec perd un leader, un défenseur passionné des droits et de la culture des nations autochtones.
Il a contribué à faire avancer la collaboration et le respect entre nos peuples.https://t.co/9GoXO1WUn8

— François Legault (@francoislegault) November 14, 2020

My deepest condolences to the family of Max Gros-Louis, as well as to the Huron-Wendat Nation, a nation that he served for more than three decades as Grand Chief. Canada is mourning the loss of this great builder who advocated for dialogue, respect and harmony. #cdnpoli

— Marc Miller (@MarcMillerVM) November 14, 2020


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