Open Letter on the Passing of Late Chief Andy Thomas of Esquimalt Nation
To Chief Andy Thomas’ wife, children and grandchildren, family, Esquimalt Nation and community:
We would like to let you know that the Nuu-chah-nulth people mourn with you during this time of great loss.
Chief Andy Thomas was a very well-respected person, and held high amongst First Nations leaders. He was a great supporter of First Nations people, no matter where they came from, and was someone who opened his longhouse and community to all. He was knowledgeable in culture and protocol, and was generous in sharing that knowledge with others.
Chief Andy was a champion for his people and their rights. He liked to be direct in what he wanted to say, and what he wanted to accomplish. Nuu-chah-nulth people admire how much work he put in to improving the lives of his citizens, and we hold him in high regard.
The Nuu-chah-nulth people will remember Chief Andy for his leadership, generosity and willingness to share with other First Nations. He had many familial and political connections with Nuu-chah-nulth and made us feel we were part of his community regardless of where we visited within his territory.
Today, as we say our final goodbyes, the Nuu-chah-nulth stand with the Esquimalt people to honour the life of Chief Andy Thomas, and to celebrate the ways he enriched our lives.
Judith Sayers, president, and Andy Callicum, vice-president
Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council