Chiefs Mourn the Passing of a Great Leader



Chiefs Mourn the Passing of a Great Leader: Daniel Ashini 1959-2009

(Sheshatshiu) The leadership of the Innu Nation, the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, and the Mushuau Innu First Nation will today join family, friends and community members in expressing their sadness and celebrating the life of the late Daniel Ashini at funeral services in Sheshatshiu.

I am saddened by the passing of our friend, a father, and a leader. Daniel Ashini was a man who left a lasting legacy for all Innu, and indeed, for all Canadians.”, stated Innu Nation Grand Chief Mark Nui. “His contributions to our community in politics and in education have given our people a new sense of ownership, possibility, and hope for their future.”

In every culture, there is always someone who stands out,” noted Deputy Grand Chief Peter Penashue, “For the Innu, Daniel Ashini was that person.”


Born in October 1959, Daniel Ashini was elected Chief of the Sheshatshiu First Nation at the age of 19, and quickly led the Innu to the centre of the world stage. His courageous advocacy for Innu lands, their rights and way of life inspired his people and had a significant impact on the political, social and economic development of Labrador. Ashini’s life is a lasting legacy to the power of conviction, and his passing is a great loss to the Innu, to Labrador, and to all Canadians.

I have watched Daniel since he was first elected Chief in 1985. I followed his career closely, and admired him for his many successes as we gained recognition for our land claims and put ourselves on the path to self-government and self-determination.” stated Mushuau Innu Chief Prote Poker.

Sheshatshiu Innu Chief said “Daniel was an inspiration for all of us. He grew up at a time when Innu had little control over their lives. He lost his parents when he was young, and he faced many challenges as a young man. But he emerged as a leader despite those circumstances. He drew strength from our elders and our way of life, and never gave up the fight to have Innu rights respected.”

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