Joe P. Cardinal

Joe P. Cardinal

Elder Joe P. Cardinal - Cree, Saddle Lake Cree Nation

"He walked his talk. He touched a lot of people"

His life lived as a family man, chief, veteran, advocate, educator, visionary and leader of his community. Elder Joe P. Cardinal represented the spirit of our culture. A valued member of the Saddle Lake Cree First Nation, Joe P exemplifies the persona of true leadership. A father of eight children it was only natural Joe also cared passionately about their community.

At age 19, Joe joined an armored division of the Canadian Army in World War II. In the 50's & 60's he served two terms as Chief of the Saddle Lake First Nation. It was in the 60's when Joe was with the Alberta Community Development building Aboriginal capacity his helping nature catapulted him into a continued life devoted to community service.

His active roles as a Board Member in the Alberta community were with NCSA (27yrs), AMMSA (15yrs) and the Grant MacEwan College Dreamcatcher Conference. Joe was instrumental as an Elder Advisor in the cultural development of the Nechi Institute, Capital Health Region of Edmonton, Aboriginal Wellness Program for the K Division of the RCMP, CSC and the formation of the Amiskwaciy Academy High School in Edmonton, Alberta.

In the areas of corrections, media, health, education and youth, a big part of Joe's life was focused on integrating our culture into and becoming a part of the contemporary times of today. He was aware of the large urban Indian population that may never get the opportunity learn in a traditional setting.

Humility was a key part of his living. The Elders who helped shape his life molded a man who lived with no racism. He related to you by who you were, rather than where you came from or what your race was. His teaching of love, camaraderie, commitment, involvement and the vision of helping the young people are left with us.

Joe P. Cardinal passed away December 12, 2004 and is missed by family, friends and all those whose lives he influences still.

 

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