Daniel Levac. A Young Anishinaabe Brother gone too soon…

I ran into Chief Donny Morris last night and he says hello there Mr. Fox, I enjoy reading your articles in Wawatay, I look forward to seeing them now he says, so keep it up. His view was that he preferred to read a column from someone who comes from where he does, a perspective from a heartbeat consistent with that of our Nation. In that regard, I shall keep on writing, although I have been very busy at work and having difficulties finding time for it as of late. It seems that now is a better time than ever to write something.

Today, my heart is with the recent tragedy that took place at Silvercity movie theatre in Thunder Bay. I think of the young life lost, an Anishinaabe brother who was soon finding his stride if he hadn’t already. A young man with dreams of a higher Education, owning a nice home and providing for his family. A young man whom wanted to say that he overcame obstacles and defeated some of life’s greatest challenges, while reminiscing about the old days with his children and telling them many stories. Stories filled with hidden teachings not understood to them at the time.

I never met Daniel Levac, but judging from his pictures he was a young man driven by optimism and a charming smile. He was from Sachigo Lake, another one of our Northern communities surrounded by beautiful colors and sounds, a reason for his smile. It is fair to say that Daniel carried with him a love for his land and people, like all his people do. It is also fair to say that his passion for success came from his desire and need to provide for and protect his people the best way he knew how, which required him to leave home.

His people walked the Northern lands for hundreds and thousands of years, thus, leaving those lands must have been difficult. Unfortunately, his walk will continue in the next life, not given a chance to walk long in this one. However, his last steps in this world will not be his last, as the work he dreamed of achieving will continue, carried on by his fellow Northern brothers and sisters.

Daniel, like myself, believed that one day his children could grow up in Thunder Bay having received a good Education and taught the fundamental values of success. He believed in building bridges with one another, bridges that would one day connect all perspectives, races, nationalities and ideas, leading to a collective, united and stronger city. The fundamental reason for doing so, to leave something better for his children and grand-children.

I will attend his memorial today and remember a man I never got to meet, but wish I had, so I could say to him that his generation inspires me to be better so that they might follow, because one day my son’s will follow their lead. Today is not a day to voice opinions to which no solutions are offered, it is not a day to acknowledge ignorance, misinformation or hate. Today is a day to remember a beautiful smile and helpful heart, who used his sense of humor to make friends with people of all ages, including his teachers and mentors.

Daniel Levac, an Anishinaabe doctor, lawyer, teacher or our next Grand-Chief, who left us too soon, should cause us to realize that something is wrong with the status quo and that continued negativity will only burn the bridges that form positive relationships with one another. Rest in Peace Daniel son, a nickname I surely would have gave him if we met.

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