Norma Green

Obituary of Norma Irene Green

The family of Norma Irene Standing Green regretfully advises of her passing on April 21, 2023.

Born at home on February 2, 1939, on the Wahpeton Dakota First Nation north of Prince Albert, Norma Standing Green passed away peacefully on April into her last journey with her family by her side. While a great loss to those she loved and who loved her, her life was well-lived. Her enthusiasm and zest for life as a modern-day Dakota woman warrior for her family and social justice in the world at large is one to be celebrated.

As her mother passed away young, Norma, the youngest of five children, was raised primarily by her father and grandmother with an active understanding of traditional culture and of her Dakota language. While nurturing a family of four children, she found meaningful work with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, becoming the Prince Albert Area Director and then to Social Services to establish northern youth bail placement homes while also involving herself in the Indian Métis Friendship Centre and Indigenous women’s rights groups. In 1990, Norma obtained a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Victoria, BC. With university degree in hand, she became the Wellness Coordinator for the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council based in Cranbrook, BC.

In 1992, the Correctional Service of Canada chose Norma to develop and manage a new corrections initiative: the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge on Nikaneet First Nation, with an insightful Cranbrook newspaper headline of “Unique women’s prison lead by unique local woman”. It was an enormous achievement to manage the planning and construction, and establish the appropriate programs, both educational and spiritual, of the healing lodge — a significant challenge that required working with the town, area ranchers, the Nikaneet and related special interest groups in addition to the corrections bureaucracy, as well as an empathetic understanding of the women involved. The lodge operated successfully and received world-wide press coverage. When Norma left Federal Corrections, she had returned to her home area and managed a men’s healing lodge on Wahpeton lands, under the auspices of Prince Albert Grand Council until she retired. Her involvement in numerous committees and Boards in fulfilled her and most recently fully enjoyed being a member of the Eagle’s Nest Board.

Norma was soft-spoken but forthright, with a contagious sense of humour. She had a passion for travel and adventure, travelling to many destinations in Mexico, to Cuba, Ireland, Holland, Greece, Italy, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, as well as many American destinations including particularly frequent visits to her daughter and grandchildren in Brunswick, Georgia. In Canada, she travelled from Inuvik on the Arctic Ocean to St. John’s on the Atlantic.

She was proud of her series of annual treks to the Black Hills, the Dakota heartland, to hike up to the face of the Crazy Horse Monument, inspiring others to come along in her wake.

At home, she loved to feed guests and her legendary blueberry pies made her invitations much desired. She loved her home and yard in the pines with much birdsong, wildlife passing through and deer bringing their fawns to play in her pond. She also loved immersing herself in cabin life, in the wilderness of Britton Lake in the Churchill River basin.

Norma had to have music in her life ranging from Freddy Fender to Andrea Bocelli, from New Orleans to San Francisco.

Norma loved her four children and grandchildren unconditionally who were a large part of her life. She made lifelong friends wherever she lived and maintained those connections. Her zest and love for life was contagious.

Norma is survived by her life-long partner Peter Burns; her brother, Cy Standing; her daughters, Brenda Green (Mark Brown), Michele Green, Lori Green-Hurley (Ben Hurley) and her son, Robert Green; grandchildren, Stephanie and Nikolas Rohachuk (Mikayla Adam), Haylee Dlouhy, Clarissa Abramyk (Alisha Fallon), Tyrone and Jessie Depeel (Landon Pikaluk), Kauja Hurley-Gamble (Sam Gamble), Keisha and Lucas Hurley, Larissa Buick (Taz Flett), Josh Sasakamoose; great grandchildren Noah and Eli Krueger, Issac, Louis and Ava Pikaluk, Juniper and August Gamble, Kaydence and Kasper Flett; stepchildren, Aaron Burns, Joelle Klinck (Nessim Carty) and Jehanne Burns and step grandchildren Jacob Burns, Olivia Valle-Burns, and Mason Klinck; and her many nieces and nephews. She also had a favourite niece (you know who you are).

She is predeceased by her mother, Mary Goodshield and father, Thomas Standing; her sister, Lucy and partner, Bob Knight; her brothers, Raymond and wife, Theresa Standing, and Mervin; and daughter-in-law, Florence Paul.

Norma had an open heart and, among her closest personal friends, she leaves her soulmate and partner in the travelling gorilla suit, Bev Miller; confidant Dianne Pearce; poet Colleen Watson, frequent travelling companion Michele Turner; and author Annalee Newitz; and with honourable mention to their partners and others we are unable to list completely, but you know who you are. During these early days of loss and mourning, we have been humbled by the many persons that have shared Norma’s great impact on them. She touched people’s hearts readily with her empathy and the connections ran deep.

Finally, special thank you to Tony Tacan and Brian Standing for providing a very special event for Norma, and to Curtis Standing and Teedly Linklater for assisting in the cultural pathways in a most generous and helpful manner.

A Celebration of Norma’s Life will be announced in the future with further details.  In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Norma may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, 200 - 325 Manning Road NE, Calgary, AB, T2E 2P5.  Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit  Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home and Crematorium, Tracy-Lynn Lenchuk, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, SK 306-763-3322.

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