Celebration of Life for Elder Therese Pierrot to be held Saturday in Fort Good Hope

Therese Pierrot at the wheel of her son Ronald's big rig. (Photo courtesy of Ronald Pierrot).

Friends and family in the Sahtú, and across the Northwest Territories, are mourning the death and celebrating the life of highly-respected and beloved Elder Therese Pierrot.

Her son Ronald Pierrot says Therese was 85-years old when she died peacefully of natural causes on Tuesday at the long-term healthcare facility in Norman Wells.

Ronald says Therese was also mother to seven girls, one of whom has since passed.

She was also grandmother to several grandchildren, “too many to count,” says Ronald.

He adds that she lost her husband—his father—in 2017.

Ronald says she was born on the land and always maintained her respect for the land.

“She was born on January 21st, 1934. She was born in the ramparts area of Fort Good Hope. It was in the dead of winter and her mother told her that she went into labour, they set up camp and she was born in a tent. (Her parents) were nomads and they had set up camp.  Her mother told her she was born on branches set up inside the tent.  They took down camp and kept travelling with my newborn mom,” Ronald said.

He said he is also well aware that his mother was considered to be one of the best traditional storytellers in the North.

“She spoke her own language really well and she also spoke English really well because she went to residential school. The nuns taught her English. She was also brought up in a traditional way and learned the stories,” Ronald said.

CKLB announcer Judi Kochon says she knew Therese well for many years.

“Therese was beautifully eloquent in both her traditi0nal language of North Slavey, as well as English,” said Kochon.  “She was extremely well-known across the North and will be sorely missed.”

Ronald says the outpouring of love and respect for his mother he has received soincer her passing means alot to him.

“Just a message or a phone call..has given me a sense of comfort and allowed me to carry on.”

The funeral for Therese Pierrot is to be held Saturday afternoon at the Church of Our Lady of Good Hope.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.