OBITUARY

Westwind Evening

March 21, 1955November 17, 2021

EVENING WOMAN, WESTWIND (formally Vivian Young), born March 22, 1955 in a little mud shack at Fishing Lake First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory, Saskatchewan – November 17, 2021 at Toronto, Ontario, Westwind passed suddenly and unexpectedly, yet peacefully, in her home from natural causes. She was a Bear Clan Woman and proud member of the Anishinaabe Nation, the eldest of seven siblings, mother of two and grandmother of two - respect to her late grandson Neebin Armstrong who she deeply loved, adored, and missed.

She was a first and second-hand survivor of Indian Residential School and the Sixties Scoop, and in her 66 years she fiercely fought and defeated every trauma imaginable. Fighting was her second nature, and as a warrior woman she fought for our Indigenous people and the ones whose voices could not be heard. As a writer, Westwind is on a mission to promote awareness of issues around justice for Indigenous people through the art of story-telling.

No matter the unimaginable pain, she ventured forward, writing a mastery of quips along the way. She could invoke our tears and touch our hearts and spirits through her writing, and her piercing ability to expose the humanity in us all was striking and merciless. In every story she shared, she kept us all hanging on every single word, and her power and gift of story will live with us all forever.

Starting in the early 80s, through her university studies, professional career, and volunteer community activism/service, she joined the Indigenous women’s movement. For over 30 years, she dedicated herself to the cause of justice for Indigenous women, working in the areas of legislation and policy, consultation and negotiation, organizational management and operation and program development through her affiliations with grassroots and national advocacy groups throughout Canada.

She was also a master artisan in Indigenous beadwork and created collections around the common Indigenous experience. Last but not least, Westwind shared with and taught women, youth, IRS Survivors, and others, Indigenous knowledge she gathered during a lifetime of working with Indigenous Elders and Medicine people.

Westwind cared about family, kinship, and community above all else, and she would have wanted to welcome the community at-large to her Anishinaabe Passing Ceremony at Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home in Toronto on Saturday, November27, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (with Celebration of Life Feast to follow offsite).

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, November 27, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, November 27, 2021

Memories

Westwind Evening

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Amanda Squires

November 27, 2021

I was so sad to hear the sudden passing of Westwind Evening She has touched many staff in Sunnybrook and especially in the NICU. She was a speaker at Canadian Association of Neonatal Nurses ( CANN) She presented along with me at our CANN conference in Toronto in April 7-9th 2019. She opened and closed the conference with a land acknowledgement, blessing and smudging ceremony . She was very special and we have learned much from her teachings and stories. She was a very strong person and enriched us all with her life story even though it was very heart wrenching to hear what she has endured and survived in her life.
She was so interested she listened to all of the speakers and learned a lot about Neonatal care, She sat with me the whole conference. She was looking forward to the birth of her grandchild and was so interested to hear all about the babies. She was a beautiful soul, we had a special connection and I will miss her.
Amanda Squires

Gail Berman

November 26, 2021

I did not know Westwind Evening in person. However, I knew her through some of the Wednesday afternoon Inkwell writing workshops that took place online via Zoom. Westwind was a dynamic, warm and highly intelligent person. I enjoyed her literary insights, and working with her.

I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Westwind Evening. May her loved ones always cherish fond memories of her, with love and warmth.

Sincerely,
Gail.

ashley Kootar

November 26, 2021

Well to be frank, I know not who Kathy means.

But if Kathy says, she was a g8 soul, I DOUBT NOT

May her soul RIP

Christina Walsh

November 26, 2021

I met Westwind Evening back in 2016. I enjoyed attending some of her workshops. She was a woman of inner power, of demonstrating so much strength, knowledge, and showing love for many people. I didn't know her well, yet she had so much to offer and teach. I won't forget her kindness when I met her in person back then. She was an authentic, rich humane being. I won't forget her kindness and the ways she validated and cared about me during her writing workshops.

Shantell Powell

November 26, 2021

I have fond memories of Westwind offering her knowledge freely, helping upcoming writers. I never got to know her well, but she will be missed. Such a kind and generous person.

Marnie Shepherd

November 26, 2021

Thank you Westwind for sharing your life with us at InkWell. It was a joy to have had you in my life.

Salvatore Tassone

November 26, 2021

I am truly sorry for your loss! My deepest condolences! May Westwind rest in PEACE! God is good all the time!

Beth Rosell

November 26, 2021

I had the great honour of attending some of her teachings with Inkwell. She was an amazing personality and pushed me to see the world with fresh, informed eyes. I am saddened by our collective loss. She will be missed and remembered.

Jerick Cabalquinto

November 26, 2021

I was fortunate enough to attend countless writing Workshops with Inkwell, where Westwind was an online instructor. The beauty from her storytelling, and the writing and life skills I’ve learned from her are the memories that I will always remember her by. Now that she’s gone, I hope that she finds peace and happiness wherever she may be.

Thank you so much for everything you’ve taught me Westwind. Rest In Power.

Lynn Tarzwell

November 24, 2021

I had the enormous honour of being Westwind’s teacher when she attended the Scriptwriting program at Algonquin College. She was a gifted storyteller, a unique voice, and a powerful, positive force. I was proud that we became friendsm and devastated that she should have left us so soon. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends — she certainly loved you all, deeply.

FROM THE FAMILY