The family of Shirley Thompson would like to announce her passing on July 31, 2023, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, after a brief terminal illness. Shirley was born on July 19, 1946 to David and Jane Thompson of Rocky Bay First Nation/ MacDiarmid, ON.
Shirley was raised traditionally, living off the land, hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering foods. Her first language was Ojibwe and spoke it fluently. Shirley loved her sisters and brothers; family meant everything to her and supported wherever and however she could.
Shirley had three daughters, Eugenie, Michelle and Rachel with former husband Michael McGuire. They raised them simply during the early days of the off-reserve - non-status - Metis - Indian movement. Shirley used her strong and steady voice to fight for Indigenous Women’s rights. Shirley was a believer in community and helping others.
Shirley was a strong woman. She was a survivor of the Indian Day School System, the discriminatory Bill-C31 act -getting her Indian status back after 1985- the prejudiced on/off reserve systems; and later in life, major health issues.
Shirley was naturally beautiful and kind, and was a strong, smart, and soft-spoken woman. She had a good sense of humour, was caring and supportive, often lending her ear and never passing judgment. She may have struggled from time to time, but she always took care of herself and her family. Whether that be chopping wood, carrying water, and living with no hydro/running water at times. There was always love, light, a hot meal, clean clothes and a roof overhead; while the walls sometimes got changed around, the foundation she built was solid.
She loved eating traditional foods, cooking her famous bannock and cheese dumplings, reading short stories, writing poetry, listening to music and watching tv shows and movies. Her grandchildren will forever remember the Y&R theme song. In her later years, Shirley lived simply and quietly. She loved her puzzle books, her special smokes, and her shows. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were and are her pride and joy. She created 3 living generations and her legacy will only continue to grow.
Survived by daughters Eugenie (Bubsy), Michelle, and Rachel (Cheeksy); grandchildren Dustin, Dakota, Avery, Aliah, Raeanne, Austyn and Metis; great-grandchildren Sophia, Aria, Aiyana, Zoey, Kitana, Corey, Jasmine, Leah, Chanel, Kodi, Quillan, Kade, and Juliet; Godchildren Cora-Lee McGuire Cyrette, Georgina Redsky (Thompson) and Corrina Thompson; siblings Clara, Theresa, Stephanie, Beverly, Joey, and numerous other relatives.
Predeceased by her parents David and Jane; siblings Virginia, Jean, Ernie, Andrew, Barbara, Bertha, Ernest Joseph, Baby John; great-grandson Damien; and Godchildren Nathaniel (Fat-Man) Thompson, Brian Thompson, Melissa Thompson, and Priscilla Thompson.
The family would like to express their appreciation to everyone for their kind words, thoughts and prayers. Special thanks to the teams at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre 1A unit and the St. Joe’s Hospice Unit. An extra special heartfelt thanks to all the nurses who ensured our dear mother Shirley was well taken care of in her final days.
If family and friends so desire, donations can be made to the Hospice/Palliative Care unit at St Joe’s.
Please sign the online condolences at everestofthunderbay.com