MCFN remembers Hazel McCallion (March Eaglepress)
Posted on March 3, 2023
Hazel McCallion, who was Mayor of Mississauga and served for 36 years, passed away on January 29, 2023, at the age of 101. McCallion was the signatory of two friendship treaties with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) over her three decades as mayor. In September 1979, she signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Co-operation, followed by the Friendship Treaty, in April 2005. McCallion had formed relationships with many chiefs, councils and community members and will
be remembered as a respected leader who recognized the traditional land on which the City of Mississauga lies.
Elder Carolyn King, C.M., served as the first female elected as Chief of MCFN from December 1997 to December 1999. King said McCallion was a loyal friend to the nation and when MCFN was holding its first Pow Wow by the mouth of the Credit River in 1987, they were told they needed a permit to have a fire.
“We said, ‘no, we aren’t going to do that.’ I said, ‘go talk to the mayor.’ She did it. She got us the permit,” King said. “She was right there with us. She was feisty.”
When Mississauga built a new municipal library, McCallion told King they could take anything from the old library they could use. MCFN, Walpole Island, and the Chippewas of the Thames all took advantage of the offer.
“That’s how we got the shelves and things for the library, that’s where we got our start,” she said.
Former Chief Bryan LaForme, who served for 14 years and retired from MCFN council in 2015, said he met McCallion 30-years-ago and she was a dedicated friend to the nation, and regularly brought a bus load of people to the MCFN annual Pow Wow.
“She was always very supportive of us,” he said. “She wasn’t a person to look at stereotypes. She looked at individuals and groups of people as what they could be and what they could accomplish.”
MCFN Councillor Veronica King Jamieson said McCallion was an inspiration to and advocate for MCFN.
She and Cathie Jamieson were invited to McCallion’s home in 2020, where Cathie fixed McCallion’s tie and medallion that she received from the nation’s then Gimaa, the late Fred King more than 35 years ago and presented McCallion with another.
“She holds such fondness and memory to this piece and reminds her of the strong connections she made
with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations during her time as Mayor of Mississauga,” Cathie Jamieson posted to Facebook in 2020. “She is a gem to sit with and talk to, and ever so witty and humble with creative ideas. Her dedication to community and people will be the lessons we take forward. She gifted me a book and message of best wishes and to keep up the wonderful work with the Nation.”
Miigwech for your allyship and friendship Hurricane Hazel, you will be missed. Baamaapii.
Written by Victoria Gray