Noel Starblanket Bio
Noel Starblanket (Age 72 Years) was a First Nations leader in Canada. For two terms from 1976 to 1980, he was chief of the National Indian Brotherhood.
|Born||Noel Starblanket was born in 1946, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Died||15 April 2019|
|Net Worth||Update Soon|
He is a Cree from the Starblanket Indian Reserve near Balcarres, Saskatchewan, in Treaty 4 territory.
He spent 11 years at Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School and was abused while there. Some of his memories are recorded in The Survivors Speak: a report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the e-book Shattering the Silence, plus a Regina filmmaker.
Trudy Stewart, produced a short documentary titled From Up North “featuring a deeply personal and moving account of Elder Noel Starblanket and his painful experiences attending the Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School.”
Attended law school at the University of Saskatchewan.
Death Cause, Wife, Family
Family confirmed Starblanket, 72, died at 12:33 a.m. Monday at the Regina General Hospital due to complications from diabetes.
Former president of Campion College John Meehan said Starblanket, more than anyone, taught him about reconciliation — what it was, how it was done and why it was important.
“He was able to let go of anger and be a force for reconciliation,” said Meehan who now lives in Montreal. “I think that’s an amazing lesson for all of us.”
Meehan spoke with Starblanket over the phone just a couple of days before his death. “I called and I was able to say how much I loved him and how much I learned from him and to thank him for his friendship.”
At just 24, Starblanket became chief of his reserve, Star Blanket First Nation. At 29 he became president of the National Indian Brotherhood, what is now the Assembly of First Nations. He was re-elected in 1978.
At the end of his second term, Starblanket decided to break away from politics. A residential school survivor, he had previously used alcohol to cope with his trauma. That changed when he decided to quit drinking and reconnect with his culture.
Starblanket spent decades learning about Indigenous spirituality from elders and eventually became involved in education when the Office of the Treaty Commissioner asked him to conduct a history seminar with teachers for their treaty certification. He became the elder-in-residence at Scott Collegiate.
Starblanket stepped back from his work with the Regina public school board in December, and from his duties within the University of Regina’s Office of Indigenization at the end of January.
“We certainly lost a good man,” said Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN). “He was a big part of our institutions and our organization.”
Cameron reflected on the times when Starblanket picked up a drum and sang, making him laugh or told a story of “the old ancestral ways.” Starblanket collected much wisdom and perspective on life, passing it on through oral teachings.
Starblanket had expertise and knowledge that many aspire to have, including a deep understanding of inherent and treaty rights, said Cameron. “The values and teachings he was so adamant about, those are going to continue to live on for many, many generations.”