On the passing of Dr. Fred Shore
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.
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 vpindigenous [at] umanitoba [dot] ca 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 vpindigenous [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.
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.