Greater Victoria community mourns longtime Songhees leader

Robert Sam is remembered as a tireless advocate for First Nations

Songhees First Nation lost their “tireless champion,” Chief Robert Sam, on Monday.

Sam, who was 76, will be remembered as a progressive and tough negotiator who was driven to build a sustainable future for his community, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said at Monday night’s council meeting.

“He scared the heck out of me, but his humour was unbelievably dry and wonderful and he always had a twinkle in his eye,” she said.

“You always knew that he was going to push you to your limits and you just always knew what he was thinking … He will be sorely missed.”

Sam was a lead negotiator in treaty negotiations with the province and sat on the Association of First Nation Chiefs Committee on Treaties. He was also a Greater Victoria Harbour Authority board member.

Within Songhees, he was a driving force in developing local government bylaws, including taxation and fire protection, and successfully negotiated a local education agreement within the Greater Victoria School District.

The municipal flags in Esquimalt and Victoria were lowered to half-mast to commemorate Sam, who served as a band councillor for more than 40 years and was elected chief in 1996.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Watershed concerns prompt opposition to alternate Malahat routes

Motion submitted to Regional Water Supply Commission opposing highway in watershed

Crews are on scene after a water main break on Goldstream and Strathmore in Langford

Some residences have been evacuated and traffic is being diverted

Remembering Nirvana in Victoria on Cobain’s 52 birthday

Nirvana played one show in Victoria on March 8, 1991 at the Forge

Head-on collision in Saanich draws attention to rural road safety

Saanich says additional road safety measures are already planned or underway

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

Most Read