It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Doug Wilson, former Chief Operating Officer of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and an individual whose life was marked by dedication to public service and a steadfast commitment to the MNO.
Doug’s life was characterized by remarkable achievements and a passion for serving others. In 2005, he joined the MNO as the Director of Healing & Wellness, where his dedication and leadership skills were quickly recognized. In 2008, he took on the responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer, a role he served in for over eight years.
Past MNO President Gary Lipinski, served alongside Doug during his tenure and described him as an extraordinary individual, successful in every endeavor he undertook:
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Doug. He worked tirelessly and helped guide MNO through some of its most difficult times, into an era of stability and phenomenal growth. Many past and current MNO staff were beneficiaries of his guidance and professionalism. He recruited highly skilled and talented individuals into MNO’s ranks while supporting training and upgrading from within.”
Doug’s enduring legacy includes a skilled and experienced senior management team. Current MNO President Margaret Froh was among the talented leaders Doug recruited, ensuring continuity and stability for the MNO.
“Doug was a force, and played an instrumental role in stabilizing the MNO, and building a strong and professional Métis government public service,” said President Froh. “He left a lasting impression on the MNO. I know many will join me in sending prayers and good thoughts to his wife Darlene and the rest of his family as Doug makes his journey home to his Creator.”
Doug’s career was a testament to his capabilities but also a reflection of his diverse experiences. Prior to joining the MNO, he had a distinguished career as a high-ranking officer and pilot in the Canadian Armed Forces. His accomplishments included leading search and rescue teams and serving as Base Commander for CFB Trenton, with thousands of employees and multiple levels of government to manage.
Doug’s work with the MNO provided him with an opportunity to connect to his culture and advocate for Métis rights, a cause that he embraced wholeheartedly. He was instrumental in strengthening relations with Ontario and the collaborative work that led to the identification of historic Métis communities.
On the occasion of his retirement the Provisional Council of the MNO passed a resolution to create a Doug Wilson Award of Excellence for staff who demonstrate comparable dedication and contributions to the MNO.
“MNO citizens will continue to be the beneficiaries of Doug’s hard work for many years. Without his contributions, MNO would not be where it is today,” said past MNO Gary Lipinski. “I will miss my friend, as we are all saddened by his loss, our thought and prayers are with his family.”
Doug’s impact on the MNO and its community will be remembered.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Doug, we will share details when they are available.