- AUDIO: Gookum Wabano turns 110 (in Cree)
- Visit the new CBC Aboriginal website
- CBC Cree radio show: Eyou Dipajimoon
Friday, January 31, 2014
Eldest survivor of residential school marks 110th birthday
About 200 people spanning five generations of the Wabano family gathered at the Moosonee arena on Tuesday to sing a Cree version of Happy Birthday to Marguerite Kioke Wabano, known as GookumWabano.
Granddaughter Joyce Spence Wabano says her 110 year old Gookum always attributed her longevity to her capacity to forgive.
"No use carrying things around. Learn to forgive, and it'll help you to live a long life." said Wabano.
Marguerite Wabano was among the residential school survivors invited into the House of Commons for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's formal apology in 2008.
Joyce Spence Wabano said at 110 years old, her Gookum remains sharp and still lives in her own apartment.
"My grandmother loves visitors, and her wild traditional food, and she drinks her medicines like Labrador Tea, and teas from different trees, that's what helps her to stay healthy. She loves to laugh and joke around with her grandchildren, one of her stronger traits. And I thank the Lord for my Granny, my Gookum."
At her birthday party, Joyce said "She received money, because she likes it and what do you give a 110 year old woman who has mostly everything?"
Posted by James at 3:59 PM