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Ian “Eez” Morgan McGinnis (Matweyaash), 31, of Manitou Rapids First Nation, Ont., passed away at his residence on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.

He was born April 11, 1981, in Fort Frances, Ont.

Ian was a passionate, outgoing, and amazingly humorous man. Even as a child, Ian “Eez” always could fill the room with laughter. His laugh was contagious and his smile could light up any room he entered.

Ian was very outgoing, passionate, and enthusiastic about all that he did. He cherished his daughters, and was an extremely proud and protective father. His life revolved around his family and friends.

Ian was a loving son, grandson, nephew; a vigilant brother; an adoring husband and father; and a caring uncle and cousin. He never hesitated to help in any way he could.

All of his family loved to watch him play hockey as he grew up. “A star amongst his siblings,” his sister described. Ian played on various ‘AAA’ and Junior ‘B’ hockey teams. A highlight was the numerous MVP awards in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Minnesota.

One in particular was at a hockey tournament in Mississauga in 1995, when he received an award by Doug Gilmour of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ian was a very active member on various committees and councils, including the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Organization.

He was an inspiring youth advocate, and travelled to various First Nation communities and spoke at several workshops and gatherings all around Canada.

Ian always was proud of our Anishinaabe culture and language, and the ways of his Sun Dance family around him.

Ian had an enormous love for pow-wows and drumming. He loved teaching his daughters how to dance and sing, and had many dear friends on the pow-wow trail.

He had planned to join the dancing circle and was excited to get ready for the next pow-wow season during the upcoming winter.

Ian always looked forward to travelling and meeting new people. He made instant friends with everyone he met and made lasting impressions to all that he knew.

Ian and Natasha were married in 2009, and had their first daughter, Journey Ann, in July, 2009 and their second daughter, Serenity Ada, in February, 2011.

He was an extremely affectionate and devoted father and husband. His eyes would light up when he would see his family. The pain we feel in his sudden departure is indescribable, but the honour in knowing him is priceless.

He will be greatly missed and always remembered.

Ian leaves behind his parents, Harold “Sonny” McGinnis and Irene Hunter of Manitou Rapids First Nation, Ont.; his wife, Natasha, and their two children, Journey and Serenity McGinnis; paternal grandmother, Genny McGinnis; one brother, Todd McGinnis of Manitou Rapids First Nations, Ont., and two sisters, Shana (Nick McLaughlin) of St. Paul, Mn. and Jilana McGinnis (Aaron Pitchenese) of Manitou Rapids First Nation, Ont.

Also surviving are his mother- and father in-law, Jane and Roy Tom of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont.; great-grandmother-in-laws, Bessie Tom of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont. and Addie Finch of Maple Grove, Mn.; sisters-in-law, Charmaine, Tanis, Morning Star, and Danika; brothers-in-law, Jesse and Travis; nieces, Rena, Jersey, Dallis, Ava, Trinity, Miigwan, Kayomi, Sienna, Arianna, Svea, and Talia; nephews, Jaelin, Jayden, Mecut, Marcus, Aidan, Kenai, and Keanu; and many close and loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was predeceased by his paternal grandfather, Harold McGinnis Sr.; maternal grandmother, Bella Hunter and maternal grandfather, Albert Hunter Sr.; and cousin, Josh Sadewasser. 

A wake will be held Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, from 4 p.m. at the Manitou Rapids First Nation gymnasium.

A traditional service will be held Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Manitou Rapids First Nation gymnasium, with Elder Charlie Nelson officiating.

A traditional burial ceremony will follow in Manitou Rapids First Nation Cemetery.

The pallbearers will be Todd McGinnis, Jason Wilson, Robin McGinnis, Nick McLaughlin, Aaron Pitchenese, Travis Tom, and Graham Hunter.

The honourary pallbearers will be Marty Wilson, Joal Wilson, Justin McGinnis, Cote McGinnis, Jeff Brown, Shawn Brown, Tyler Hunter, Dylan McGinnis, Brandon McGinnis, Bryton Swayde Wilson, James Gardner, Joe Skead, Mike Kavanaugh, Dave Yerxa, Chris Vic (Blinky), and George Councilor. 

Should friends so desire, in memoriam donations made be made to the charity of your own choice c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.

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