Revered former Neskonlith chief dies

Arthur Manuel, 66, a renowned leader and advocate for First Nations people, passed away peacefully on Wednesday night.

Arthur Manuel

A former chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band has died.

Arthur Manuel, 66, who was also chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, spokesperson for the Interior Alliance, and an advocate on the international  stage for indigenous people, has passed away.

Doreen Manuel writes that “on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m.,  beloved brother, husband, uncle and grandfather Arthur Manuel passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.”

Manuel is revered by many.

A statement from Grand Chief Steward Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, states: “Arthur Manuel was, without question, one of Canada’s strongest and most outspoken Indigenous Leaders in the defense of our Indigenous Land and Human Rights. He travelled extensively throughout Canada, North America and around the world in his unwavering and relentless efforts to champion the cause of our Indigenous Rights. He relentlessly worked on land claim issues, calling for change to Canada’s fundamental flawed policy on Indigenous land claims.

“At this terribly sad moment in our history, we would like to thank the Manuel family for sharing Arthur with us for all these years…Arthur’s legacy will continue to reverberate throughout our ongoing Indigenous history for many, many generations to come.”

Manuel was the co-author with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson of Unsettling Canada, A National Wake Up Call, Between the Lines.

The Manuel family states they will confirm the dates of the wake and services shortly.

“At this time we are planning to hold the wake Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14 and the services on Sunday, Jan. 15. Wake and services will be held at the Adams Lake Indian Band gymnasium, Chase.

“The family asks the media for respect and privacy at this time.”