MNBC: Remembering our Senator and Respected Elder, Margaret Penner
January 23rd, 2018
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Senator Margaret Penner. Born on November 6, 1932 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan; her early childhood until the family moved to B.C. Margaret was predeceased by her parents Margaret Lee and Charles Edward Buck, siblings Rose Marie (Buck) Abe and Harvey Edward Buck, and daughter Philomen Jeanne (Penner) Gulland.
In 1952, Margaret married Bernard Penner in Penticton, B.C. Together, they had four children: Bernard (Zdenka) Penner, Edward (Cheryl) Penner, and Karen (Penner) (Gordon) McGinn and Philomen (Penner) Gulland, and helped raise two nieces: Blanche and Sandy Buck. Margaret and Bernard have six grandchildren: Jarrod, Sarah, Alexander, Kelly, Emma and Cameron.
Margaret was a proud and beloved Citizen of the Métis Nation BC, and a very active member of the South Okanagan Similkameen Métis community. She was a respected Elder and Senator who personified Métis pride in everything she did. She would always be seen proudly wearing her Métis sash across her shoulders. Margaret was the first female Senator to hold position on the Senate.
As a respected Elder, Margaret was often called upon to participate in youth camps; workshops, and provincial youth forums, where her thoughtful and often light hearted sense of humour and approach appealed to youth of all walks of life.
She gave so much of herself and her time to the Métis Nation BC by providing traditional teachings to Métis youth and while in her valuable role as the Métis Nation BC Senator for the Thompson & Okanagan region since 2008. Margaret was very proud to take on the position of Senate Chair in June of 2015, where her wisdom and tireless work and efforts were a testimony to her dedication and devotion to Métis people and the Métis Nation. She was often called upon to conduct traditional prayers and ceremonies of the Nation’s assemblies and youth gatherings where she would have prepared a prayer for each specific ceremony and carried it with her in a beaded moosehide covered bible that she beaded to carry out these ceremonies. It never left her side. She taught countless youth how important it was to embrace their Métis ancestry, history, culture and values and always encouraged them to advocate for Métis rights.
Margaret was a very gifted artisan and seamstress. Her talent for making Métis buckskin garments and her beading was very well known and well sought after by many Métis people.
Her contributions were endless as was the time she took to spend with anyone who needed an ear or a friendly conversation. Her integrity and commitment to everything she put her mind to was unmeasured.
Our friend, our Senator, and Elder, will be sadly missed by all who was incredibly blessed to have known her.
Should you wish to send your condolences and respects to Margaret’s family, or share a memory you may have, please CLICK HERE.
A Memorial Healing Circle will be held later in the Spring. MNBC will post the details when they become available.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that you consider donating to the B.C. Cancer Agency.
Métis Nation British Columbia Board, Staff and Citizens extend our deepest condolences to Senator Penner’s family and loved ones, during this very difficult time and tremendous loss.
Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day – Anonymous