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On the passing of Dr. Fred Shore

October 28, 2022 — 

The following message is from Niigaan Sinclair, Acting Department Head, Department of Indigenous Studies.

It is with profound sadness that our department announces the loss of Dr. Fred Shore, who passed away late last night peacefully at home with his beloved Lucy by his side.

Dr. Shore has taught literally thousands of students in the Native/Indigenous Studies department for decades, going all the way back to his time as a Masters student in the Department. In 2020 he retired and continued to be missed greatly by graduate students, colleagues, and of course his undergraduate students – who he has been teaching introductory Native Studies for decades. Born in Montreal to educator parents (his grandfather was a principal), Shore first taught in a primary school in Montreal and then Toronto, returning home to Manitoba in 1978 with his wife Lucy. He began work at the Manitoba Métis Federation and soon started an academic career, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree at Brandon University and then completed a Masters program in History at the University of Manitoba. Hired by the Native Studies Department at U of M, he took on the role of Head in a time when the department was undergoing massive changes and institutional restructuring (the Native Studies program was even completely cut in 1983!) Over the next decade he taught at Brandon University and the University of Manitoba (sometimes both in one day!) and was well known as a deft researcher, entertaining storyteller and thorough lecturer.

Over the years, Shore took on many administrative roles, one of them being the Executive Director of Accessibilities for Visible Minorities, Persons with Disabilities and Aboriginal peoples – becoming instrumental in helping make the University of Manitoba an inclusive place. In the meantime, he was instrumental assisting Indigenous leaders like Kali Storm design and build Migizii Agamik – the Indigenous Student Centre. In 2004, Shore returned to the Department of Native Studies and was always one of our most popular professors, working tirelessly supporting the Colloquium, advocating politically, and mentoring young graduate students and faculty members. In 2015 he completed work on his book Threads in the Sash: The Story of the Métis People (published with Pemmican Publications) – a culmination of his career educating thousands of students and readers about the origins, traditions, land claims and political systems of the Métis peoples.

On a personal note, I enjoyed the mentorship and kindness of Fred many, many times. He was not only a colleague and a friend but an uncle to myself and thousands more. Native/Indigenous Studies on campus is better for the work of Fred. We are so lucky to have spent time with him.

–Niigaan Sinclair

The flag at the University of Manitoba Administration Building will be lowered for the entire day on Nov. 16.

Students, staff, faculty, and alumni are encouraged to join the celebration of Fred’s career on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Cross-common Room 108 of St John’s College. Bring your favorite Fred Stories. His wife Lucy, and daughter Dierdre will be joining us, and The Daily Bread will be catering the event and serving Pizza and Bannock for all who attend the celebration.

Please RSVP to if you can attend, so that we can make sure to have enough for all who come to share fond memories and stories of Fred Shore. If you have a Fred Shore story that you would like to have shared, but can’t attend in person, please email the story as text or MP4 recording to

In lieu of flowers, Fred encourages contributions in his memory to the Wiciwawin Emergency Bursary Fund.

Please add your thoughts and reflections in the comments below.


9 comments on “On the passing of Dr. Fred Shore

  1. Daly de Gagne

    Fred loved to teach, and he loved students. He could tell you exactly how many students because he kept track of the number year after year. That metric meant a lot to him because he understood at a visceral level how much impact a good teacher could have on his students.

    Fred was more than a good teacher; he was a great teacher, in large part because he wanted to see each student succeed in a good way – and also because he was a great story teller. I experienced his knack for narrative first hand when I took his first year Intro Indigenous Studies course.

    The following four years Fred asked me to work with any of his students who needed help with writing. Almost all of them would talk with me about how Fred’s stories made the course content come alive in memorable ways.

    It was during this time that Fred learned he had pulmonary fibrosis and began to use oxygen. At first it was a portable breathing device and nasal catheter. And then it was an oxygen tank.

    In typical fashion, he explained at the beginning of each year’s class what was happening. Typical fashion for Fred being brief, to the point, and honest: “I have pulmonary fibrosis. It’s terminal.” And he’d share how much time the doctors had given him to live.

    Then he taught and told stories, much as he had always done. Students would later say how much they appreciated Fred’s honesty.

    It’s a cliché, “What you see is what you get”, but one which describes Fred. His deep caring for his family, friends, and students was obvious, as was his passion for justice, and for those who suffered. He will be deeply missed.

    – Daly de Gagné
    28 October2022

  2. Leann Mastin

    I was a student in intro to Native Studies in 1990 I believe and he was a fantastic professor who sparked my interest in exploring Indigenous history. I really liked him and was amazed at the depth of his knowledge and how he kept all the students engaged. My condolences to his family and friends.

  3. Shelley Sweeney

    Fred Shore was friendly to everyone he met. I remember his support and kindness when I came to head the University of Manitoba Archives in 1998. You remembered his impact upon meeting him; he was that type of guy. I will always be grateful that I had a chance to work him. He will sincerely be missed.

  4. Randal McIlroy

    Beyond his formidable intelligence, Fred Shore was a warm and witty man, quite amused when he was described as “peppery.” As editor, working with him on Threads in the Sash was illuminating on more than one level, and it was a joy to see Metis history made rich and living.

  5. Chris Butterill

    So many qualities one can look for in a university professor, and some have them and others do not. And then there is Fred, a one of a kind. He had that quality as a colleague, teacher, and scholar that was special. I remember many years ago even before Univerity One days when I was teaching study skills with a Student Services unit, he had me come to his first year classes to assist students learn how to succeed at U of M. He worked with me getting the new students used to finding Indigenous materials in the library system. students loved his stories. When I was Dean he helped find solutions for Disability Access. His office from 1998 to 2005 was at St. Paul’s; he ssserved on the assemmbly committees and we had spirited debates over lunch with colleagues and sometimes withh students in the Cafeteria, always with that dry humour as he watched to see if you ‘got it or not’. He set the bar high for learning for his students but with that heart of gold that was Fred. blessings on Lucy and family at this time and Thank you Fred!

  6. Jeri Ducharme

    When I was a student in my undergrad, I could not get enough of Dr. Shore’s courses. I admired his immense knowledge base, passion for history, and his no non-sense style. He was straight to the point, and from him I learned more about Metis history than I could have dreamed. He challenged his students, me included, and I would both dread and eagerly await the return of my papers to read his comments and make improvements. His storytelling was passionate and precise, and his dry humour often left me wondering if it was appropriate to laugh or if he was being serious. He inspired me greatly in my studies and career. My heart-felt condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and students.

  7. James Gardner

    I was introduced to Fred in the 1990s when I was Provost and Vice President Academic at U of M. At the time, Don Unruh and I were looking for an informal way to regularly discuss issues pertaining to the experience of Indigenous students, staff and faculty at the U of M. We consulted with Fred and others as to the best way to proceed. Largely at Fred’s urging and with the support of staff, faculty and students from the ACCESS programs we formed an informal group call Abnet that met regularly. The meetings were open to any who wanted to attend. A core group emerged and Fred played a significant role as a member. To him and others in the group, I owe my gratitude for any advances we made in addressing the Indigenous presence at the U of M.

  8. Shirley Delorme Russell

    Fred was a board member of the Louis Riel Insitute in the mid 2000s. What I remember most is him and Lawrie Barkwell (staff at LRI) laughing, guffawing, tearing apart arguments made about the Métis by non-Métis and in fact using the name of one particular academic as a place holder for an exclamation!
    Fred is also important to my family. In the 90s my uncles were trying to learn about Pierre Delorme and if he might be related to us. My uncles came to the UM and Fred met with them. My uncles told me about it later, they said, yeah, we went to the university and this smart professor helped us with everything he had about Pierre Delorme.

    Marsee Fred, from a student and a learner.

  9. Nancy Hansen

    Fred was always open to trying to improve physical access at the University. He had the red railing installed on the outside stairs of the Education Building.I think of him every time I use it.


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