FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Premier Blaine Higgs:

Marcia and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Pabineau First Nation elder Gilbert Sewell.

Gilbert was a storyteller and oral historian who dedicated his life to passing on Mi’kmaq language and traditions by teaching courses in local schools and sharing his vast knowledge with First Nations youth. He will be remembered for his impressive work in service of preserving and promoting his heritage, from national and international television appearances, to serving as an expert witness in Indigenous rights court cases.

Over the course of his remarkable life, Gilbert’s commitment to sharing Mi’kmaq culture was recognized with numerous prestigious awards, including the New Brunswick Human Rights Award, the Canadian Merit Award and two Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medals (Golden and Diamond).

On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to Gilbert’s family, friends, community and all who have been impacted by this loss.