(Toronto, ON, May 9, 2020) – The Ontario Regional Chief, RoseAnne Archibald released the following statement on the passing of well loved and respected Chief Celia Echum of Ginoogaming First Nation.

“On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, we offer our utmost respect and condolences to the family, friends and the community of Ginoogaming First Nation who have lost a treasured member and beloved leader. We are all a bit taken aback by the suddenness of this news,” said Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald. “I found Chief Echum to be a determined and passionate leader, who gave much of herself to the betterment of First Nations everywhere, offering her advice and counsel as the Ontario representative on the Assembly of First Nations women’s council and as a board member of the Nishawbe-Aski Legal Services amongst others.”

Chief Echum was first elected as chief in 2007 and her vision for her community was well thought of, as she was selected each consecutive term as Chief with a strong majority and mandate from her members. She worked tirelessly for Ginoogaming, serving as a councillor and working in the band administration for over 25 years.

Economic development was a passion for Chief Echum and she was committed to creating a more prosperous and self sustaining community and made every effort to move her community forward, like the recent creation of Minodahmun Development Inc. an innovative business partnership with neighbouring First Nations, on top of the many agreements she had made with the local resource industry.

“Chief Celia Echum was in every sense a true leader, wise, respectful and well liked with a big smile and a bigger heart. Her insights and wisdom will be missed by not only her community but by myself, the First Nations leaders and people she touched across the north and Ontario,” stated Regional Chief Archibald. “Once again, my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Chief Celia Echum and the community of Ginoogaming during this time.”

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald


The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow the Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

Chiefs of Ontario – Media Contact:
Genna Benson
Communications Officer
Telephone: 416-523-4020
Email: Genna.Benson@coo.org