Statement on the passing of Jack Layton

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Executive, August 22, 2011

On behalf of all of our First Nations, we wish to express deepest condolences to Olivia, Sarah and Mike, for their loss today.

Jack Layton epitomized the importance of recognizing the need for change in Canadian politics. This change reflected more of the values of our First Nations, in Nuu-chah-nulth lands. This change was about caring for people, a value we have shared since the time before contact. Jack’s leadership and inspiration will be missed. However, we know that his legacy will live on because of all the lives he touched over the time he spent here on earth.

His courage in politics and, more recently, in battling cancer was truly admirable. He was a man of great integrity that did not waiver from his stance of not leaving anyone behind and approaching all battles with great optimism. One of the greatest examples of this was in his final remarks in his final letter to Canadians dated August 20, 2011.  In his final days Jack wanted to ensure that we all knew that he appreciated us and what we offered him throughout his career and his life.  He also wanted us to know that the beliefs and values that he and his party believed in would be maintained and upheld long after his passing.  The selfless act of acknowledging the people he has worked for his whole entire life while he himself was preparing to leave this world and journey to the next is truly an act of integrity, courage, and humility. 

Our prayers are with his family today.


Clifford Atleo Sr., President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council; and

Priscilla Sabbas-Watts, Vice-President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council