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

Join Groove Kitchen for a funky free concert at Brydon Park in Saanich

The July 23 concert is one of eight hosted by Saanich Parks and Recreation this summer

City of Victoria to hold formal safety review after man was left hanging from raised bridge

More and more people seen ignoring safety measurements in place, city staff say

Saanich council will consider tax reduction scenarios for 2020 budget

Coun. Rebecca Mersereau however warns of cutting additional funding for capital expenditures

Oak Bay instructors teach free outdoor yoga classes at Willow Beach Park

Practise yoga for free Tuesdays at 6 p.m. all summer

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

POLL: Do you use a food delivery app?

With modern life becoming more hectic with each passing day and so… Continue reading

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Most Read