Minnie Croft was advocate for unity and education

  • Feb. 28, 2007 8:00 a.m.

By Oriana Wesley-Family and friends gathered on the weekend to say farewell to Minnie Elizabeth Wilson Croft. Minnie was born in Skidegate, and belonged to the Skedans clan. Her name was Jaadskaan. She was 97 at her passing.
She leaves behind her only son, Bill, and her siblings and their children. She came from a clan of sturdy, strong-willed women. She came from a clan of dreamers, but she was a doer also.
During her long lifetime she set herself big goals, in seeking out more opportunities and understanding for First Nations people across all of Canada. Her hope for educational opportunities drove her to stick with it until the UBC creations of aboriginal programs were born, and Vancouver’s Aboriginal Centre came into being.
Minnie recognized the plight of some aboriginal women, and, in full Minnie fashion, got on board with Elizabeth Fry society, to help promote awareness of First Nation’s women’s issues. She was a strong advocate on the Professional Native Women’s Society, and in the United Native Nations.
Little Minnie was a formidable lady, and wherever she saw a need for grassroots efforts she pursued it. She often served as a cultural or linguistic interpreter for the Haida Nation. In 1987 she received the Golden Feather Award for her overwhelming contribution to promoting and creating opportunities for her people.
In 1993, Minnie received a special award. She was awarded with an honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of British Columbia, for her groundbreaking work in not only helping to promote unity of all people, but in setting the stage for educational options for First Nations students.
When I met Minnie, she was already living at the hospital, confined to a wheelchair. But that did not stop her. The feisty spirit that had kept her going all those years burned on inside. She was forever “escaping” with her chair, getting the nurses on the fly to catch that free spirit.
Well, Dr. Minnie, take time to rest before you head out on your next adventure. I hope we all will meet again someday soon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘A time of transition:’ CHN looking to release next steps of pandemic response this week

State of local emergency is in effect; Gaagwiis says CHN developing indicators to guide next steps

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

Two new bridges to be built along Highway 16 between Port Clements, Tlell

Ministry of Transportation says $5.4-million project expected to be complete in fall 2020

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

Haida Gwaii couple frustrated after Air Canada cancels flight, denies compensation

Mike Racz says another passenger received $1,000 while he was only offered e-coupon and promo code

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read