Remembering a True Friend
The Métis Nation lost a ferocious advocate, a seasoned politician, a standout musician and a dear friend with the passing of Cecil Lafferty on September 10, 2006.
Remembered by many for his boundless energy and infectious sense of humor, his endless repertoire of jokes and his resounding laugh; Cecil possessed a no-nonsense, down to earth approach to Métis politics. He had a practical, analytical mind that cut-o-the-chase; identifying challenges and seeking workable solutions.
Cecil Robert Lafferty, born in Fort Resolution on July 2, 1952, was the eldest of three children born to Honorine (Norn) and George Lafferty.
Growing up in Fort Resolution, Cecil attended Breynat Hall in Fort Smith for three years, relocating to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan for a year of pipeline working. He was hired by the Fort Resolution Municipal Council in the 1970s as Senior Administrative Officer, a position he held for 23 years.
Anyone who knew Cecil knows that his life wasn’t all work. He was a musher, racing sled dogs for years. He coached young folks in baseball, traveling to various tournaments around the territories. And he sang.
My goodness, did Cecil sing.
Cecil purely loved playing the guitar and singing. He teamed up with the band Native Cousins, playing guitar and singing lead vocals with them for 20 some years. He played back-up for scores of well known fiddlers at dozens of talent shows, dances and social gatherings over the years. He patiently taught his daughter Karen and a whole bunch of other folks how to play guitar.
Cecil was involved with the Great Slave Lake Advisory Committee, the Fort Resolution Housing Authority (President) and the Fort Resolution Métis Council (Director and President for six years). He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation from 1998 to 2000, followed by a two year stint as Vice-President of the organization.
Cecil Lafferty was honored by the Métis Nation with The Order of the Sash in 2005 for his many years of commitment and dedication to the Métis cause; an honor he richly deserved.
If it seemed like something might have been missing from the Annual General Assembly in Hay River in November – it was because something was missing. It was Cecil’s boisterous belly-laugh, his sharp wit and his political smarts. That’s what was missing.
But Cecil was there.