If you knew Sandra Lockhart, you would already have a sense of the thoughts that will be presented on this page. You would know that one of the first things that comes to mind when bringing her memory forward is the courage and strength that she demonstrated as she moved through the world. You would have marveled at the way she had so much to give, even after life had taken so much out of her.
In everything she did, Sandra was guided by the purest and strongest feelings of love. She loved her family – past, present and future. She used the wisdom of the ancestors and elders to guide her through every step of the Red Road she travelled and lived by. She knew that real love is a prayer and an unending promise: a relentless dedication to the soul of your loved ones and to the soul of the planet.
Sandra didn’t just have a strong sense of social justice, she had an unwavering desire to be the change she wanted to see in the world. She gave of her time and energy to a variety of organizations: she sat on the steering committee of the Feminist Alliance for International Action and was a member of the board of directors for the Council of Canadians. She volunteered for agencies that fought to end poverty and family violence and that provide services to victims. She was also a founding member of the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research.
Her active involvement with PSAC are almost too lengthy to list, but to name a few: she was the Alternate Regional Executive Vice-President for the North, a member of the National Indigenous Peoples Circle, Regional Council Vice-President and she represented the union at the Northern Territories Federation of Labour.
Sandra was the recipient of the 2003 Helen Gibson Award. A North West Territories physician, Dr. Gibson created the award to honor his mother who struggled to overcome many obstacles to complete her nursing education. The award is given to a graduate from the Aurora College Nursing Program who has overcome similar obstacles and successfully completed the nursing program.
Ten years later, Sandra received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, a commemorative medal served to honor significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. Sandra was presented the award for the work done on behalf of labour and Indigenous organizations.
Sandra would not have wanted us to share this list of accomplishments - that’s the way she was - but we believe her level of commitment and dedication can continue to serve as an inspiration for the next generation of Indigenous women leaders. She will be terribly missed.