FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2022
FHQTC Statement on the passing of Knowledge Keeper Rick Favel
(Treaty 4 Territory) – The leadership, management, and staff of the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council express our deepest sympathies for the family of Knowledge Keeper Rick Favel upon his passing.
In life, Rick was truly a gifted man who we looked to countless times for direction, knowledge, and his vast cultural experience. Rick’s kindness, caring, sharing, humble, and humourous personality reached many people in the Treaty 4 territory, across Canada, and around the world. For 40 plus years, Rick’s passion and love for our traditional practices and cultural identity helped shape the All Nations Healing Hospital, FHQTC & FHQTC communities, Treaty 4 Gathering, FNUC, CAF Bold Eagle, and many more institutions across Saskatchewan and beyond.
Rick was passionate about the All Nations Healing Hospital and not only shared but pursued his vision for a place where western medicine/medical practices would meet Indigenous medicine/medical practices and walk alongside one another for the overall health of our clients, patients, staff, and visitors.
The Pasikow Muskwa (Rising Bear) Healing Centre is a testament to Rick’s vision and legacy. Rising Bear is a multidisciplinary healing centre that provides chronic disease management, outreach services, early screening and detection for kidney disease, satellite hemodialysis, independent hemodialysis, and support for home dialysis. Working alongside a team of Knowledge Keepers, dietitians, specialty nurses, medical doctors, a pharmacist, and navigators, Rick’s championing of Rising Bear reached Provincial and Federal Ministers, and Indigenous communities around the world. It is because of his advocacy that Rising Bear exists and helps many patients to this day.
Rick was also instrumental in building the Cultural Program offered through the White Raven Healing Centre, now a strong staple for both cultural and professional mental health support services. Rick was also instrumental in the building of the Red Wolf Program, which offers both cultural and clinical support for addictions. Further to his vision, Rick recognized the importance of proper food and nutrition, and began the work to build a Food is Medicine program, which just recently launched.
For many years, Rick served with FNUC, and its predecessor institute SIFC, helping to shape and build cultural programs guided by respected Knowledge Keepers, at a time when no foundations existed to accommodate our own Knowledge Keepers. His work, guided by prominent Knowledge Keepers at the time, helped build those foundations that so many organizations have now adopted. Rick also served with the Canadian Armed Forces Bold Eagle Program, which combined Indigenous teachings and military training. Many recipients of the program have gone on to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Rick was also passionate about the health and well-being of women and children. He worked closely with the families, organizations, and those impacted by MMIWG. Rick’s work extended to Residential School survivors, the All Children Matter movement, and communities impacted by the newly uncovered unmarked graves at sites where Residential Schools once stood.
Rick also cared deeply for urban Indigenous people and worked closely with RT/SIS in establishing many language and culture programs and services. He was often sought after to assist, guide, and help with setting up programs and services. The Oyate Lodge, a place of healing and culture for urban Indigenous people is in the final stages of being completed.
Rick’s vision for our lands and people could only be measured by the love he had for his culture and all those impacted by his work, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. It is difficult to put into words the entire scope of all that Rick Favel did for organizations, people, and lands. But a few things are certain; his tireless dedication inspired many and instilled a strong cultural foundation in the consciousness of everyone in his community and those he touched.
Rick is survived by his wife, three daughters, two stepdaughters, numerous grand-children, and a great grandchild. Rick enjoyed many friends, had numerous culturally adopted relatives, and in turn, culturally adopted many into his own family. In this sacred time and beyond, we ask that everyone emulate Rick’s qualities – caring, sharing, helping, humility, love, and laughter.
The family has asked that all donations be made to the All Nations Healing Hospital, which will go towards carrying on the legacy of Rick’s Vision.
Kininaskomitin Kihtehayah Rick Favel