The Chief of the Chippewas of Nawash has died.
Ralph Akiwenzie passed away in hospital Friday morning after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Akiwenzie was 64 years old -- he would have turned 65 on Thursday March 10th.
Akiwenzie was first elected to the band council in Cape Croker in 1981 and first became Chief in 1989 -- losing only one election to Chief Paul Nadjiwon during that time.
Councillor Paul Jones describes Akiwenzie as an effective leader who was dedicated to the community.
Jones says Akiwenzie impacted people's lives -- first as a teacher and then as a member of the band council.
Jones adds the entire First Nation community is in mourning.
Jones notes they have also received messages of condolence from First Nations across Ontario and Canada.
A wake will be held on Monday night at the Cape Croker Community Centre.
A funeral for Ralph Akiwenzie will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday at the Roman Catholic Church in Cape Croker.