Maurice Fournier (Morris Metansinine)
It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Morris Metansinine (Fournier) on Friday March 25, 2022 at Nipigon District Memorial Hospital with his family by his side. Morris was born in Ombabika December 22, 1941 where he was raised and lived as a young boy before moving to the other side of the tracks in Auden. Morris was given the name Waantuhgohns by his grandmother Apidloo (Kathleen Fournier).
As a young man, Morris lived off the land and was an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman; providing for his family and relatives. You were sure to see him with his gun in sling wrapped around his arm in the Toronto, Summit and Pigeon Lake areas with his uncle Wilfred Fournier. He especially loved his goose hunting expeditions and never failed to come home with a few.
Morris was eager to work as a young man however he was too young. He did manage to find a small job at the Olay Grey Store packing and delivering groceries for store customers. He carried the groceries in his backpack walking from Ombabika to Auden. When he was of age to work, he worked for CN Auden, Abitibi-Camp 40, Domtar, Lake Nipigon First Nation, and retiring with the Municipality of Greenstone.
When Morris was not working, he continued his traditional ways of living off the land and continued to hunt, fish and trap, with his children, nieces and nephews; teaching and passing his knowledge to the young ‘guns’, especially his nephew Paul Cheesequay. Saturday nights were always spent in front of his television cheering his favourite team, the Montreal Canadiens. Morris was instrumental in co-planning and hosting the Alumni NHL players to a scrub game against local players from Beardmore, MacDiarmid and Rocky Bay in early 2000.
Morris was a member of Lake Nipigon V.P., a group of status First Nation people, displaced by INAC, and scattered throughout Northern Ontario, with a few families residing in the Ombabika and Auden area. Members of Lake Nipigon V.P. were not represented during the signing of the Robinson-Superior 1850 Treaty and as a result did not receive land to build a community. Up until the early 80s, Lake Nipigon V.P had a spokesperson recognized by INAC, however nothing formal as a Band Council existed. That changed when Morris and two other gentlemen met and discussed a plan to develop a Band Council for Lake Nipigon V.P. and to start searching for members to bring together to discuss a future for the First Nation and its people. As a result, they formed a Council with a Chief and two Councillors, with Morris as one of first Councillors for the Band. In time, the newly-formed Council negotiated and secured core funding for Band operations and established political partnerships with various governments and organizations. Once they formed the foundation as a Governing and Administrative body, they focussed on three priorities: negotiate and secure a land base to bring their people to a location they can call home, safeguard the traditional territories in the Ombabika and Auden areas, and to seek compensation through a specific land claim. In time, years have passed and Council changed, however the initial priorities envisioned by the three original Council members never changed. They cleared the path for the younger generation to continue their legacy and because of that initial meeting with Morris and his two colleagues, the band now known as Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek has a land base they can call home, with Ombabika and Auden close to the hearts of those who continue to return to participate in traditional and cultural activities.
Morris is survived by his partner of fifty years Vera Thompson, daughter Yvette Metansinine (Fern), sons Bartholomew Metansinine, Morris Thompson (Taryn), and Christopher Thompson (Jill). He will be forever remembered by his grandchildren Terry Parise, Cheri Parise, Joshua Metansinine, Logan Metansinine, Corey Desmoulin, Cody Desmoulin, Ashton Thompson, Calli Thompson, Sarah Murschitz (Seth) and Henry Nayanookeesic, Great Grandchildren: Trystan Goodman, Madison Yerxa, Isaac Parise, Abby-Lou Parise, Gregory Parise, Parker Shipston, Cashton Amini, Cailyn Amini, Ethan Murschitz, Noah Murschitz, Emersyn Murschitz and Isabella Murschitz and his cat Amy.
Morris leaves his beloved siblings: Dorothy Goodman (Frank), John Metansinine (Mary), Vivian Simmons (Victor), George (Tuulikki) Nayanookeesic, Irene (Oswald) Brisard, Susan Nelson, Harvey (Sherri) Nayanookeesic, Joe Nayanookeesic, John (June) Shawaynamash. He is also survived by his brother-in law Gerald Simmons and sister in laws: Linda Bishop, Gladys Thompson, Bertha Thompson, Elizabeth Nayanookeesic.
Morris will be fondly remembered by numerous nieces, nephews and his extended family.
Morris is predeceased by his mother Aileen Metansinine, daughter Pauline Rose Metansinine, brothers: Francis Fournier ,Alex Fournier, Henry Nayanookeesic, Harry Nayanookeesic, Jimmy Nayanookeesic, Gary Nayanookeesic, sisters: Pedlick (Veronica) Cheesequay, Jane Nelson (Fournier), Audrey Simmons (Metansinine), Elizabeth Ross (Nayanookeesic) and granddaughter Samantha Metansinine. Sister-in laws: Mary McCrady, Edna Panamick, Josephine Tompson and brother-in-laws: Gilbert Thompson, Jerry Thompson, Alan Thompson, Thomas McCrady, Dewar Thompson, Elvan Bishop, Andrew Thomspon.
The family would like to thank the Nipigon District Memorial Hospital staff for care and nurture during Morris’ brief time at the hospital. We want to extend our gratitude and thanks to the Beardmore Ambulance team for attending to all his emergency calls. We also like to thank Brenda Goodman for her house calls and her care during his numerous visits to the clinic.
Funeral Services for the Late Morris Metansinine (Fournier) will be held at the Community Baptist Church, 30 Mackenzie Street, BEARDMORE, ON, Wednesday March 30, 2022 at 1:00pm. Visitation will be held at 132 Main Street BEARDMORE ON, after 6:00pm Tuesday,March 29, 2022.
Interment will be at Pinegrove Cemetery, Beardmore ON, when the geese fly north.
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