Today we are deeply saddened to report the loss of a beloved Métis community member and former Métis Nation of Ontario Veterans Council (MNOVC) President, Joseph Paquette.

As a dedicated and active advocate for the Métis community, Joe devoted many years to both furthering the aspirations of Métis youth and elevating the voices of our veterans.

“Joe was a very proud Veteran who worked closely with Veterans groups including National Aboriginal Veterans Association to ensure that services and recognition of Veteran contributions to Canada were never forgotten,” shared current MNOVC President Brian Black.

MNO Youth Representative Mitch Case, too, remembers his friend and mentor, and expressed his regret in this terrible loss:

“I am terribly saddened today to hear of the passing of one of my dearest friends, mentors, uncles and collaborators in the movement to build a strong and vibrant Métis youth community in Ontario,” said MNO Youth Representative Mitch Case. “While I don’t yet have the words to express the deep sadness this passing brings me, I am comforted in knowing that I am not alone in this loss and that it will be felt by all our communities.”

Joe was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario. In 1966, he joined the Lincoln and Welland Regiment reserves and in 1967 transferred to the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, 1st Battalion regular force. Joe served as a rifleman in the military for several years, before his honourable discharge from the Canadian Armed Forces in December 1970. That year he went on to attend Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, Ontario. In 2012, Joe was elected as President of the MNOVC, a post he held for many years.

In February 2014, Joe was the recipient of the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement and in October 2014, he received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for work done with the MNO Veterans Council.

This past July, Joe was bestowed with the “Order of the Métis Nation” by the Métis National Council. The “Order of the Métis Nation” recognizes the positive impact a recipient has made in moving forward the rights and aspirations of Métis people.”

“Joe Paquette will surely be missed by a number of people both young and old, however his lively spirit will live inside all of us,” expressed Brian Black. “Your work is done, Joe. Rest easy.”

The MNO extends its deepest condolences to Joe’s family and friends, and wishes them strength in these difficult times.

Posted: March 19, 2020