Chief David Bob of the Snaw-naw-as First Nation passed away on Jan. 21.

Chief David Bob of the Snaw-naw-as First Nation passed away on Jan. 21.

Snaw-naw-as First Nation loses a leader — former Chief David Bob dies

Prayer service set for tonight (Tuesday), funeral Wednesday morning

Members of the Snaw-naw-as First Nation were still expressing shock Monday about the sudden passing Saturday of long-time Chief David Bob.

“It’s blowing me away still,” said current Chief Brent Edwards. “It’s shocking.”

Edwards became chief of the Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose First Nation) after elections in January of 2016. Bob had been chief for the previous 10 years. He was 62 years old.

“He was an important part of our community, a leader in our community for a long time,” Edwards said Monday. “Our thoughts are with his family.”

A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) at the Tsowtunlelum gym (699 Capilano Road, Lantzville) and the funeral is at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the same location.

Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre, in his capacity as the city’s rep on the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors, worked with Chief Bob over the years on various issues.

“I personally considered him a courageous man and leader who looked to the future for the advancement of his Nation and the younger generation and their future,” the mayor said this weekend.

Bob often used clear, direct language to explain his people’s views on the land that stretches from French Creek to Piper’s Lagoon in Nanaimo to Arrowsmith Mountain.

“You’re on Snaw-naw-as land, our traditional territory and you are guests in our home,” he said in October of 2015. “We are taught to treat our guests with respect, not to turn them away. We can be friends or we can put the gloves on. We’re used to fighting for everything we get. One hundred years of waiting, being patient, shows we’re not going anywhere.”

Also in October of 2015, Bob said the Agreement in Principle signed by local First Nations with the provincial and federal governments “is not worth the paper it’s written on” because big issues have not been settled.

Bob said his nation had lost many elders who wanted to be around to see a resolution to the treaty and he spoke of his motivation in the fight for a treaty settlement — his three great grandchildren.

“They are the reason I’m fighting.”

David Bob is survived by his father Dave Bob Sr. (step mom Dorothy Bob), wife Vivian (Sugar) Bob, children Tina, Billie and Jake Bob and granddaughter Gloria Bob.

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