It is with deep sadness the Northwestern Ontario Métis Community (NWOMC) reports the loss of two beloved Métis elders Loretta Lipinski and Senator John George.

Loretta Lipinski and Senator John GeorgeLoretta, born January 23, 1933 in Fort Frances was a cherished wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She passed peacefully November 28, 2022. John, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and MNO Senator passed December 2, 2022.

“On behalf of the Northwestern Ontario Métis Community, we would like to pay respects to the contributions made by Loretta and John to our community, region and the whole of the MNO,” shares Theresa Stenlund, PCMNO Regional Councilor. “As Knowledge Keepers, these individuals provided invaluable wisdom and guidance to those around them.”

As respected and treasured figures in the Fort Frances community, Loretta and John leave behind profound legacies focused on kindness and community. Family and friends recall both their generosity and commitments to preserving Métis traditions and ways of life.

Loretta, who spent much of her life out on the lands and water, was always prepared to share stories of her childhood and upbringing on Rainy Lake. She enjoyed a long and successful career in healthcare, beginning her career with La Verendrye Hospital in her twenties and retiring after more than thirty years of service.

A senator at the time of his passing, John too was greatly committed in sharing his knowledge and love for Métis ways of life. He frequently worked with the Sunset Country Métis, visiting local schools and organizations to teach the next generation about Métis culture. John also spent over fifty years working in the logging industry and was keen to pass his skills and knowledge on to younger generations.

“On behalf of the MNO we extend our sincere condolences to the families of Loretta and John and to the entire NWOMC who are feeling the loss of these two exceptional Métis Elders so profoundly,” stated President Froh.

“It’s through the insight of Knowledge Keepers like Loretta and John that we’re able to keep our culture thriving,” says Theresa. “They will be greatly missed.”