Saskatoon

Sask. Elder Mike Pinay dies at 69

Elder Mike Pinay, 69, of Peepeekisis First Nation died early Tuesday morning. Pinay had cancer and was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

Pinay had cancer and was recently diagnosed with diabetes

Elder Mike Pinay, 69, died early Tuesday morning. (Diane Adams/CBC)

Saskatchewan's Indigenous community lost an important leader today after Elder Mike Pinay, 69, of Peepeekisis First Nation died early Tuesday morning.

Pinay had cancer and was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

"He was quite sick — sick for a few months, and finally all of the afflictions caught up to him and wore him down," explained his cousin, Noel Starblanket. 

The two men grew up together, spending most of their childhood in a residential school in Lebret, Sask.

Work with youth and police

Starblanket said Pinay was known for his work with Indigenous youth and would also make a point to share his cultural teachings with others. He would also often speak up for his community.

Starblanket said that many times, Pinay would challenge the federal and provincial governments to do better and more for Indigenous people.

"He was able to share himself, his person, his knowledge and, most of all, his kindness with young people and all other people who attended with him in ceremony," Starblanket said.

Pinay also worked with the Regina police as part of the organization's elders advisory board.

"Mike has also been a trusted friend and teacher to our leaders, our officers, and our civilian staff," wrote Regina's police service on Facebook. 

"We will miss his wisdom, generosity and warm sense of humour." 

The Regina Police Service posted a tribute to Elder Mike Pinay on its Facebook page. (Facebook)

With files from CBC's Katie Raskina

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