Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

August 06, 2009 18:21 ET

Statement of Condolence From Ministers Chuck Strahl and Peter Mackay on the Passing of Donald Marshall, Jr.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 6, 2009) - On behalf of the Government of Canada, we would like to express our sadness on the passing of Donald Marshall, Jr., a member of the Membertou First Nation, and a man whose life leaves a lasting legacy for all Mi'kmaq and Maliseet people and indeed for all Canadians. He was a courageous man, who surmounted racial and cultural barriers, and had a significant impact on Canada's justice system.

Born on September 13, 1953, he was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1971, and subsequently acquitted. In 1999 he was at the centre of the Supreme Court of Canada's R. v. Marshall decision. This decision recognized the Treaties of 1760-61 and confirmed the rights of the Mi'kmaq to hunt, fish and gather in order to earn a moderate livelihood. Son of Donald Marshall, Sr., once the Grand Chief of the Mi'kmaq Nation, Donald Marshall, Jr., became a hero to his community, and many Canadians.

His life is a testament for all Canadians - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike - rising above adversity. Mr. Marshall's passing is a great loss and we wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Mr. Marshall's family and friends.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Nina Chiarelli
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Peter MacKay
    Jay Paxton
    Press Secretary