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CBH pays tribute to former staff member Hattie B. Coonishish


The CBHSSJB is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former employee Hattie B. Coonishish, mother of our colleague Jason Coonishish and mother-in-law of Rachel Danyluk. Hattie passed away peacefully on February 18, 2024, at her home in Mistissini. 



Hattie B was among the first CHRs to work for the organization in Mistissini. Hattie B. Coonishish and Beatrice Petawabano started their training in the fall of 1985 in their role in Mistissini. They paved the way for other CHRs and went beyond the call of duty. Beatrice recalls: "Through our work as CHRs, we saw the needs and challenges that families were encountering. That's when Hattie and I put our heads together and looked for ideas to help. We came up with the 'Wreath of Hope'." This "Wreath of Hope" was to provide all families with a holiday meal and Christmas gifts for children of struggling families, especially during the holidays. Today, the "Wreath of Hope" is still an ongoing community initiative. 

Group photo

Sharing Passion with CBH

As a CHR, Hattie was well-known and very much appreciated. She was also known as Attie McGoo, and people from their bush camps would call her on the bush radio for medical reasons. Community members in Mistissini remember those years and still talk about her as a CHR, especially those living on the land. 

The CBHSSJB deployed the Bush Kit program in 1983 to "promote a state of optimum health among the James Bay Cree hunters and trappers, as well as their families living in the bush", a tool that both Hattie and Beatrice worked with as CHRs. Today, Hattie's son Jason oversees the Bush Kit Program.

Hattie left the organization in 1991 to pursue her career with the Cree School Board at Voyageur Memorial High School to work with special needs students. We would like to acknowledge Hattie’s contribution to our organization as a CHR in those early years when resources were limited.

The CBHSSJB offers its heartfelt condolences to her husband Alfred, her immediate and extended family, the Blacksmith family Rachel, and all Hattie's friends. Our thoughts also go out to our colleague Jason, who has suffered a second loss in a short time. He lost his niece on February 3rd.

We keep you in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and in the coming days. 

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