This was originally posted on the HWY 14 History group on Facebook, and is reprinted here with permission
–by Cynthia A Carlsen
Linda’s family referred to her as a matriarch personified – this is so very, very true. I grew up with Linda’s daughter, Monique, and often times we would go and hang out at Monique’s house during school breaks. Linda always welcomed us with love and smiles…
Words cannot adequately express the countless and self-less hours Linda dedicated to her community. As a member of the T’Sou-ke Nation she was a highly respected Elder, and former Chief. Her dedication to community also flowed into the community of Sooke where she served as an Elder in residence at Edward Milne Community School. Linda created and organized the first T’Sou-ke First Nations Art Show in 2009. It is now a very popular annual event that showcases First Nations artists from various regions.
Linda was committed to the promotion of Aboriginal arts, culture, protocol and awareness. Her long list of accomplishments also include being a Special Projects Worker and Cultural Advisor for the T’Sou-ke Nation, a member of the T’Sou-ke Community Practice Circle, T’Sou-ke Wellness Circle, and as a Community Comprehensive Plan Mentor for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
In addition, Linda was the Board Director for First Peoples Heritage Language and Culture, and a member of the Elders Circle at Royal Roads University. She received recognition for her volunteer service from the Capital Regional District for her environmental work, and from the province for her involvement in Aboriginal sports and recreation. Linda also played a key role in the Reconciliation Group focused on building positive relationships.
Another highlight from Linda’s tireless contributions to community resulted in the T’Sou-ke First Nation receiving international attention as a world-renowned leader in solar energy. T’Sou-ke was the first aboriginal community in the world to be designated a solar community. Linda, Chief Gordon Planes, along with other community members, worked hard to build a community vision that focused on bringing members together to create a long-term sustainable plan for future generations.
Growing up, Linda attended grade one at Sooke Elementary School and then entered Saseenos Elementary School as one of the first grade two students in the newly built school. She graduated from Edward Milne Secondary School in 1970 and was valedictorian of her class. Linda also attended Camosun College. She is predeceased by her parents Norman and Anastasia (Mishael) George, and is survived by daughters Monique and Angie; grandchildren Makayla, Alvin, Jeremy, Calvin, Caleb; siblings Damien, Denise, Rick, Darlene and Diane, along with many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
It only takes the action of one individual to set the course for lasting change in our community, and Linda certainly made her mark and a lasting legacy in her community. Her willingness to share her time and knowledge spoke to her dedication and commitment to ensuring a healthier, brighter and productive future for all generations. Never once did Linda have an expectation of being recognized or rewarded – she was a strong and quality woman of character.
I am honoured to write this memorial and I wish to offer my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Elder Linda Bristol.
A Prayer Service will be held at 7pm Thursday, October 18 at the Lazzar Building (6221 Sooke Road). A Funeral Service will be held at 10am on October 19 at the Lazzar Building ( 6221 Sooke Road).
SPN Note: There is also an obituary for Linda Bristol in the Times Colonist where you can also add your condolences.