Rod Bushie, a Manitoba aboriginal leader and a former provincial grand chief, died overnight Friday, family said.
He was 60.
Bushie was best known as one of the architects of devolution, the name given to the transfer of aboriginal child welfare services to First Nation and Métis control.
He had been ill, battling terminal lung cancer for several months.
His passing was marked by condolences from the province’s largest First Nations organization that Bushie led for a term in the 1990s.
"On behalf of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, I offer sincere condolences to his wife Eileen and children, along with the family and friends of Rod Bushie," said AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
Rod Bushie was elected as grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in August 1997, after serving as chief for his home community of the Hollow Water First Nation.
Apart from a bid he lost in the race for leader of the Southern Chiefs Organization in 2007, Bushie was better known in recent years for his community work.
He served on various boards, most recently with the Adam Beach Film Institute. He help found the annual Aboriginal Curling Bonspiel and remained active in it.