Elder Agnes Hardy remembered for language, education
Elder Agnes Hardy, who passed away on March 9, was always known for attending events around the community in Thunder Bay. Here she completes a dream catcher along with other participants in 2010.
Rocky Bay Elder Agnes Hardy is remembered for her love of Anishinabemowin and education.
“One of her legacy’s (that) was very strong was her love to pass on language, and of course, education,” said her son Michael Hardy. “Education was very important for her — telling young people to finish school. You will be successful if you finish school.”
Hardy passed away on March 9 with her family and friends at her side in Thunder Bay.
“It was as peaceful as it can be,” Michael said. “It was her time and it was very hard to let her go.”
A viewing was held in Hardy’s honour from March 12-14 at 619 Lakeshore Drive in Thunder Bay and her funeral was held on March 14 in the Chapel of Harbourview Funeral Centre in Thunder Bay. Internment will take place in Sand Point and Rocky Bay.
“There were many people from all walks of life who showed up at her service to honour her, not only as a grandmother but also as an Elder who really tried to work hard in the city to unite relationships,” Michael said. “Of course, my mother is my mother too, so I have to say her very first pride was her family and of course her children.”
Hardy was also well known for her recipes, which she shared with many other people.
“A lot of people cook her recipes still,” Michael said. “She loved to sew, she loved to speak the language and loved traditions. She had all these different gifts that we still carry as we leave the service. Her spirit lives on; her spirit still lives on well although she is gone.”
Hardy worked as a lecturer in Lakehead University’s Native Language Instructors Program from 2001-2006 after receiving her Native Language Teaching Certificate in 1994 and her Native as a Second Language Diploma in 1998.
She was a member of LU’s Aboriginal Education Advisory Council and Ogimaawin Elders Council and also volunteered for LU’s Native Language Instructors Program student orientation and Annual Fall Harvest.
“Agnes encouraged us all to support Aboriginal students in their educational journeys, and to embrace and promote the language and culture,” said Peggy Smith, associate professor with LU’s Faculty of Natural Resources Management. “She has our undying respect for her efforts.
We will sorely miss her.”
Hardy led many opening prayers and cultural ceremonies at LU as well as visiting, counselling and mentoring LU staff and students on a regular basis.
“Agnes is fondly remembered as an Anishinabe Ikwe who spoke her mind with an open heart and demonstrated tireless passion, enthusiasm, strength and courage which will be carried on for generations to come,” said Yolanda Wanakamik, acting vice provost at LU’s Office of Aboriginal Initiatives.
Michael said his mother believed that all her grandchildren should strive for university degrees.
“One of her dreams was having all of that curriculum laid out in Ojibwa,” Michael said. “So we carry on that legacy — we keep pushing forward as much as we can.”
Michael encouraged others to tell their grandparents that they love them while they still can.
Email to a Friend
add to del.icio.us