In Loving Memory
It with very heavy hearts that we say good-bye to our dear friend and Elder, Cliff Thomas (Stands Alone Bear) who passed on to the Spirit world early morning, Sunday, July 22nd. Cliff came into this world sixty-six winters ago on the Peguis First Nation (Manitoba). In 1983, Cliff made Ottawa home, which he came to share with his wife Patricia.
Cliff spent many winters crisscrossing Turtle Island (North America), participating in Medicine circles with Elders, Healers and Seers from a variety of First Nations. These experiences afforded him the capacity to weave through both worlds with ease.
From organizing Folk Festivals to his stint on local radio and beyond, Cliff worked with a variety of First Nations traditional and contemporary organizations as well as the Federal Government. He was involved in work with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Youth Hep-C Conference, and the Canadian Institute for Health Research. He was the Chair of the First Nations sub-committee of Post-Polio Canada with the March of Dimes Canada and sat on many more committees and advisory boards in Ottawa and nationally.
In 2004, Cliff began working with the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) as an Elder/Advisor. At CAAN, he became a steady hand and loving presence for a variety of community-based research projects. In 2012, he was invited to work with the AHA Centre where he held one of two positions as an Elder on the AHA Centre’s Governing Council and a position with the National Aboriginal Research Advisory Committee. He saw the people he met and worked with through CAAN as family and deeply valued the work that he did with that organization over the years.
Cliff was a kind human being who embodied a self-less love that he shared with anyone lucky enough to cross his path.
We ask that you please keep Cliff and Patricia in your thoughts and prayers as this next part of their journey unfolds.
In Cliff’s own words, “we will miss your smiling voice …”