Dan Goodchild – 1959 Speaker
1959 Speaker of Biigtigong Nishnaabemwin
Dan exemplified leadership. He understood the importance of taking an active role in the well-being of our community. He constantly volunteered and gave graciously of his time and knowledge. Dan dedicated his life of 90 years to the service of his community.
With his loving partner, Adele, they raised their ten children. He valued the concept of family and always made efforts to connect with his extended family. To Dan, family also included the community; and he was committed to all.
As a proud Nishnaabe, Dan conducted his affairs honoring and respecting his traditional values. Seeing the world as being interconnected, and understanding the complex relationships of those interconnections, Dan focused much of his time out on the land. An avid trapper, hunter, and fisherman, Dan lived in accordance with the natural laws. He had a comprehensive understanding of land and wildlife management practices and utilized these in his everyday life. He taught the importance of not being greedy and taking only what one needs. He believed in the concept of reciprocity and the value of giving and sharing. Dan acknowledged the land, the animals, the birds and all living things as his teachers; he passed these teachings on to those around him.
Dan was a highly-proficient first-speaker of Nishnaabemwin and spoke very little of the English language. He successfully passed Nishnaabemwin on to all of his children. Dan utilized the art of storytelling in the passing-on of traditional knowledge, and referred to these stories using the term “aadsookaan.” He always stressed the importance and sacredness of these stories. Dan will always be remembered for his love of being Nishnaabe and for his commitment to ensuring the continuation of our Nishnaabe ways of being.