Joseph Morrison is a member of Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing (Big Island) First Nation, born on Lake of the Woods in Treaty #3 territory of northwestern Ontario, Canada.
Joe attended Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School and day schools as a child; served as a young man with NATO forces in Germany as Rifleman with Queen’s Own Rifles, and worked as a bookkeeper, fishing guide, street patrol supervisor, and Metis housing coordinator in his early days.
Mr. Morrison retired as a presiding Justice of the Peace in 2007, having served for fifteen years with the Ontario Attorney-General in Kenora. As well he had been involved with Indigenous Friendship Centres at local, provincial and national levels for decades. He learned and shared what he knew about Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) language, culture and spiritual teachings most of his life, and was called on often as an Elder and cultural resource in Treaty 3 communities.
A father of eight, with 22 grandchildren and 9 great-children, Joe enjoyed every moment with his family, attending pow-wows, watching First Nations sporting events, and keeping an eye on local politics.
RECIPIENT OF THE QUEEN ELIZABETH II DIAMOND JUBILEE MEDAL
In January 2013, Joseph was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his lifelong dedication to public service and efforts to improve the lives of others. The dedication and memorial ceremony was held at the Lake of the Woods Museum, and included the announcement of the Joseph Morrison Legacy Fund.