We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at McKenzie's Portage Funeral Chapel
September 27, 1940 – September 18, 2022
It is with sadness that we share, our family Matriarch has gone on to the spirit world to sit again by Creator’s side.
Hazel was born in the early fall of 1940 at Indian Springs, Manitoba, to Annie Daniels (Long Plain) and Tommy Cameron (Swan Lake). She was gifted to her Granny and Shoomis Mary Jane & John Cameron at an early age to be raised alongside several Uncles. Hazel unconditionally loved her four sisters (Rowena, Delores, Esther, & Margaret) and her one brother (Ernest), and she also kept cousins Joyce, Rita, Betty Ann, Emma, and her Aunty Mary Jane close to her heart.
Hazel first attended the Indian Day School on Swan lake Reserve, and then later attended the Brandon, Birtle, and Portage Indian Residential Schools. Desperate to leave school, she ran away (twice) and eventually made her way to Winnipeg. She worked for a short time as a clothing model in Eaton’s store and then went to work at the Eaton family house as a maid. She met Charles McQuiston and during their short union they had two sons, Charles and Richard. A few years later she met Steve Ewanchuk and they had (little) Shirley, Calvin, and William. Hazel and Steve raised our cousin (big) Shirley, Delores Cameron’s daughter, as our sister.
Our mother and father raised six kids and about fifty other kids too, who were from the Children’s Aid Society or were students coming into the city to attend school. Dakota, Dene, Cree, Ojibwe, and Inuit students lived with us. Mom also took in relatives Morris Cameron, and Clifford Cameron, her sister Margaret, and then our shoomis Tommy came to live with us for many years after he left the Ninette Sanatorium. At any given time, there were 12 to 18 of us living under her and my dad’s care, love, and nurturance. We would all be packed up on weekends to go pick bottles, berries, nuts, and mushrooms; or to go camping or fishing or to visit relatives in Swan Lake and Russell, Manitoba. Many days were spent volunteering at Weston CC.
Our mom and dad moved the family up north to The Pas in 1979. Mom worked at the Wescana and the Kikiiwak restaurants, and was active in the The Pas Ladies Legion Auxiliary. She loved powwows and would wear her Legion uniform to dance with the Veterans at powwows in honour of her many Uncles who served in wars. Our parents spent 21 years living in The Pas and had many friends and fun times in the North. Her special friends from The Pas are Dolly Thorne, Marg White, and Betty (Jim) Hurst and her daughters.
Our parents moved to Winnipeg around 1999/2000 to be closer to family, and unfortunately, our dad Steve passed away shortly after relocating to the city. In 2005, our mom met Tom Weseen and he became her rock till the end of her life. Tom and our Mom liked to go to South Beach Casino and for leisurely drives. As she went through the second resurgence of cancer, Tom took her to all of her many appointments and our family is ever grateful for the joy, love, and care he shared with mom.
Our Mother loved her family, Saskatoon berries, bingo and the slots, making huge meals, and taking care of her home. She was friendly, outgoing, and an extrovert. She was a Sundancer, attended ceremonies, and carried a ceremonial bundle. Hazel was from the generation where you would pick up the telephone and call people to connect, and she was really good at staying connected to people by the phone. In fact, when she stopped calling us everyday, was when we knew something was wrong. She lived 82 winters, was an exceptionally hard worker, and a strong woman throughout her life. She always said that she wanted to be a nurse, and she accomplished that through the love and care she gave to others.
Since early May, Hazel had been struggling with complications from cancer and was in the Riverview Health Centre and then moved to the Grace Hospice. Our entire family is grateful for all of the great care from the nurses and health care aides of these two health centres. Miigwech/Thank you to David Blacksmith, Trudy Pashe, and Ezarah Ewanchuk for preparing traditional medicines and ceremonies for our mother. Many thanks to the friends and relatives who reached out, called, and visited mom.
Hazel is survived by her partner Tom; her sisters Rowena and Margaret; her children Chuck, Rick, Shirli, Calvin (Amy), and Will (Maxine); her grandchildren Courtney, Ezarah, Kallee, Devyn, Trinity, Tessa, Arizona, and Michael; and great grandchildren Aurora, Damien, Tate, Cameron, Lennyx, Finn, Rhett, and Levi.
Hazel was predeceased by her grandparents Mary Jane (Daniels) and John Cameron, & Gladys (Myran) and John Daniels; her parents Annie and Tommy Cameron; her brother Ernest; her sisters Delores and Esther; her husband Steve Ewanchuk, and his sisters, Lucy Chuckree, Joyce Mushumanski, Nancy Ewanchuk, and Annie Medaniuk; daughter (Big) Shirley and her step-daughter Kelli Anne (Tom).
In lieu of flowers and cards, please pick up the telephone and call someone today to let them that you’re thinking about them. Reaching out and making a human connection is one of the biggest gifts we can give of ourselves. It was her greatest wish for us to all stay connected.
Oshkaabewis (Pallbearers) will be Rick Ewanchuk, Calvin Ewanchuk, Tom Weseen, Charles McQuiston, Michael Paluk Jr. and Adam Stoltz. Ishkwaayo (Honourary Pallbearers) are all of Hazel’s Grandaughters.
Traditional Wake will take place at Swan Lake First Nation Cultural Centre on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 beginning at 4:00 pm. End of Life Ceremony will be held at Swan Lake First Nation Cultural Centre on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 11:00am, followed by a Feast at noon. Interment will take place at Brookside Cemetery on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 10:00 am.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com