A well-respected Saskatchewan First Nation elder has died.
Michael Linklater said in a Facebook post his father, Walter Linklater, passed away Sunday morning.
“He was in home surrounded by many family members in song and prayer as he left,” Michael wrote.
“It was a beautiful and tough day for our family. My dad was a legendary man who dedicated his life to his family and helping others.”
“He will be greatly missed by many and will forever be in our hearts.”
Michael Linklater is well-known in basketball circles, playing on the FIBA 3×3 world tour as member of Team Canada, and running a basketball development program.
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron said Walter will be dearly missed.
“He was a teacher, mentor, knowledge keeper and friend to thousands of us across Canada” Cameron said in a statement.
“Language, culture and Treaty Rights were his areas of expertise, along with raising his family.”
FSIN vice chief David Pratt praised the work Walter, and his wife Maria, did in teaching First Nations culture to hundreds of children.
“Walter inspired, encouraged and taught priceless traditional lessons and knowledge to over 350 foster children throughout his life,” Pratt said.
“His lasting legacy and impact on those lives will forever be remembered.”
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said Linklater not only inaugurated many city councils, he helped bridge relations between the police service and First Nations following the Neil Stonechild inquiry.
“Walter worked closely with the Saskatoon Police Service in the years since the Stonechild Inquiry as part of the Elders Advisory Council to the Chief to bridge relations between the Police Service and the Indigenous community through very challenging years” Clark said on Facebook.
He also presided over the swearing in of police chiefs and was on the advisory committee for the naming of the Chief Mistawasis Bridge, currently under construction in the north end of Saskatoon.
A traditional wake service will begin at 4 p.m. on Aug. 7 at the Charles Red Hawk Elementary School on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
The funeral service will take place the following day at 2 p.m.
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