Prince Albert remembers elder Jacob Sanderson

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Elder Jacob Sanderson, a noted mentor and community leader in Prince Albert, died on Saturday. He was 72.

An outpouring of support followed the news. People who knew him remembered Sanderson for his spiritual guidance with Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), his work as a knowledge keeper and his voice at ceremonies conducted by organizations like Wanuskewin Heritage Park and the Saskatoon health district.

Sanderson was buried on Tuesday, a PAGC spokeswoman said.

Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte remembered Sanderson as a "humble" man. His "quiet and unassuming ways" led to him to be a trusted and comforting source of advice and counsel, he said in a prepared statement.

"Jacob will be remembered for his pride and love for his people, his ceremonial work in practicing and preserving First Nations culture and traditions, and his commitment and dedication toward peace and reconciliation."

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron said in a statement that Sanderson was a "true emblem of traditional knowledge" who generously shared values and culture.

Sanderson, who was a member of James Smith Cree Nation, was also noted for his work with the Saskatchewan Penitentiary and guidance offered to local police.

In a statement, Sheryl Kimbley, chair of the Prince Albert board of police commissioners, said his work with police them develop "a better understanding of traditional teachings and beliefs, which in turn, informs their work in public safety.”

Prince Albert police Chief Jonathan Bergen recalled Sanderson's blessing of the service's new police substation last year.

"I trust that his work will continue to guide us in a meaningful way,” he said in a statement.

Hardlotte recalled Sanderson "would often look down and shake his head, and then state, 'we don’t know when we will be called.' " Promising to remember Sanderson's lessons, Hardlotte described him as "a man of distinguished humanity."

Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix