‘Remarkable’ elder

Absolum Mamakwa Photo: contributed
Absolum Mamakwa Photo: contributed
Published October 1, 2011

Absolum Mamakwa, a respected elder and Anglican known to many in northern Ontario, died on Aug. 6 at the age of 73.

“Absolum promoted and practised the spirit of volunteering for the betterment of his people,” said a statement issued by the Kingfisher Lake Nation. “He was able to connect strongly because of his positive outlook on life and sense of humour.”

One of his sons, Chief James Mamakwa, described his father as “a builder,” who led the construction of Kingfisher Lake’s St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Mission House and the Big Beaver Bible Camp. “He was a remarkable man. I don’t know if I can fill his shoes,” he said in a telephone interview. Mamakwa also delegated the task of building an Anglican cathedral at Kingfisher Lake to his community.

Mamakwa is survived by his wife, Bessie, four sons and three daughters.


  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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