It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our loving friend, husband, uncle, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Suddenly on June 6, 2021, Stewart Redsky began his journey to the spirit world.
Survived by his wife Janice Redsky, son Sheldon Redsky, son/nephew Kevin Redsky (Harmony) and son Jason Jack (Princess). Grandchildren Kameron (Elycia), Ryley (Brooklyn), Sophie, Shayla, Braylin, Rhyse, Jayme, Brady and Bay. Greatgrandchildren Hailey and Karmine. Brother Erwin Redsky, sisters Esther Redsky and Frances Fox. Aunties Sarah Mandamin, Jean Redsky, Julia Redsky and Clara Mandamin. Special friends Bert Landon, Cuyler Cotton and Daryl Redsky. And the numerous cousins, nephews, nieces, too many too mention.
Predeceased by parents Lawrence Redsky and Dorothy Mandamin, brothers Roy (Peanut) Redsky and Alvin Redsky. Grandparents Alex and Sadie, Arthur and Mary. Aunties Hazel, Barbara, Martha, Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Ella, Gladys, Ethel, Rose, Mary, Agnes and Mary Rose.
Uncles Lloyd, Charles, Harvey R, Stephen, Eddie, Willie, James and Harvey M.
Special thanks and gratitude to Leaha Fontaine, Cathy Greene, Sheldon Redsky, Ryley, Brenda Freel, Rob Freel, Lorne (Boy) Redsky, Sigfusson staff Chris Robin and Chris Mathews and all of the family for their efforts during the evening of June 6, 2021. The Redsky family cannot thank you enough for your response.
Stewart held numerous positions within Shoal Lake # 40 including but not limited to Police Officer, NNADAP (drug and alcohol councillor) and Chief for an interim period. Stewart spent countless hours volunteering at the Shoal Lake arena for the kids. His volunteerism could be counted on in organizing a variety of community events including bass tournaments, sporting events and the highly anticipated fireworks show held for Canada Day and New Year’s Eve. In addition to these volunteer endeavours, Stewart would offer his time patrolling the community to ensure the safety of community members during the cold winter months. Stewart would often offer his time to everyone and anyone at a moment’s notice to offer a lending hand. Stewart would prioritize all members before himself during feasts, always making sure everyone else was fed first. Stewart had a contagious smile that would light up a room. His greetings to those close to him often included him addressing them with a nickname he constructed or using a loud voice that could be heard from a distance away. Laughter and story would follow during his daily visits with friends and family. Stewart was known for his appetite and his ability to somehow receive a free meal while making his rounds on community. He would also be observed in the city of Kenora having a snack in a parking lot somewhere or making a quick stop at his favourite Dairy Queen.
Stewart had three passions in life. Stewart loved his family and most importantly his grandchildren, as he would often share stories of how proud he was of their accomplishments. Stewart would often participate at all family functions he was able to attend including graduations, hockey games and all other activities.
Sports. Stewart played a variety of sports which included a great love for hockey. Stewart began as a young child as a successful prospect and played for several decades. He was instrumental in organizing the men’s hockey team, always ensuring Shoal Lake would have a team at the North American First Nations Tournament and other Indigenous tournaments across Ontario. He fundraised to maintain the Shoal Lake arena, prioritizing youth ice time and contributing to young hockey programs consistently. Stewart loved all sports including football, tennis and the odd golf game.
Miikiinaa ogichiida describes a person – a leader- who puts it all on the line for the people. Stewart Redsky was such a person. He was a fierce and, most importantly, an effective advocate for the people of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.
In 1988, as interim Chief, Stewarts actions effectively forced Winnipeg back to the negotiating table which led to a multi-government agreement that continues to this day. When the lack of road access reached a crisis in 2007, Stewart was among the leaders who walked 100 miles with band members to the Museum for Human Rights site in Winnipeg to call attention to the plight of the people. In 2014, when the leadership called on community members to directly join in the fight for justice, Stewart became a key member of the “Direct Action” team. Shoal Lake 40’s demand for Human rights may have gained international celebrity but the actual business of successfully fighting for the people is hardly glamorous. A keen student of the world and politics, Stewart understood what it takes to effect real change and he was always prepared to pay the significant personal cost of that effort …. no matter what it took.
Always among the first to step up, his commitment could be counted on to the finish. Long before any key action, it was often Stewart who arranged the logistics, making sure there were no distractions from the important message of the people. The Shoal Lake 40 Museum of Canadian Human Rights Violation, became a world-class teaching institution and it was founded and operated on tours organized, hosted and curated by Stewart. Countless reporters and literally thousands ordinary Canadians joined in active support for Freedom Road as a direct result of being moved by the peoples’ story eloquently and carefully explained by Stewart Redsky. Stewart would, of course, emphasize the team effort.
A survivor himself Stewart most recently was turning his exceptional abilities and passion for justice to the cause of the children of residential schools. He worked tirelessly to advocate for mental health and addictions supports not only in Shoal Lake but throughout Treaty 3. He stressed the impacts of intergenerational trauma, strived for community healing and was dedicated to empowering youth. His voice in these healing efforts will be sorely missed.
Stewart Redsky wore many hats and held many roles in the community and throughout the region. His dedication to several causes and commitment will require many to help fill the void. For many, we will never meet another person who embodied such a giving and loving spirit that Stewart did. Rest in peace and power Stewart, we will try our best to fulfill your vision.
Pallbearers include Ryley Redsky, Kameron Redsky, Billy Wahpay, Davey Redsky, Corbin Paypompee, Rhyse Mandamin, Jeremy Ledoux Redsky and Leroy Redsky. Honourary Pallbearers include Jamie Mandamin, Dave Crow, Bert Landon, Preston Green, Clayton Redsky and Nate Bryan.
Wake to be held at the Shoal Lake 40 Arena at noon Friday June 11th, 2021. Funeral services Saturday June 12th, 2021 at 12PM.
Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Centre entrusted with arrangements.
Online condolences can be made online at www.brownfuneralkenora.com.