Obituary – Amelia Willier

Amelia “Amy” Willier
April 15, 1982
Jan. 22, 2021

On Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, Amelia “Amy” Nora Willier passed away in Calgary, AB at the age of 38 years.

Amy was born on April 15, 1982 in High Prairie, and was preceded in death by her father, Russell Willier.

Amy is survived by: her mother, Yvonne Jobin; son Colton [age 12]; niece Mya [age 16]; nephew A.J. [(age 8]; siblings Aaron, Joe, Leah, Russell Jr.; and numerous beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Amy’s paternal grandparents are James and Amelia Moostoos; her great-grandfather was Alexan; and great-great-grandfather was Chief Moostoos, who signed Treaty 8 with his brother, Kinosayo.

Amy’s Jobin side is from Big Prairie, and her maternal grandparents were Ambrose Jobin and Nora [Coutereille] Jobin.

Amy was a vivacious, kind, and loving Cree Knowledge Keeper, educator, artist, and entrepreneur. She shone her light far in the world.

A member of Sucker Creek First Nation, she loved living off the land in her traditional ways, hunting and picking medicine, all while sporting her signature bright red lipstick and mischievous grin.

She naturally chose her path as an artist, designer, and teacher, following in her mom’s footsteps. At age 13 she taught her first class in dream catcher making in Port Hardy to 30 people. She was gifted at being present, putting students, babies, Elders, and anyone at ease with love, understanding and her irrepressible humour.

She has taught thousands the authentic traditional crafts and culture of her people. When the pandemic hit, Amy adapted her teaching to an online format, and was reaching hundreds of students all over the world.

Amy made her life in Calgary with her mom and son, and helped build Moonstone Gallery from a table in the basement to a thriving gallery that represents over 75 local Indigenous artists with a worldwide customer base. Amy saw Moonstone as an opportunity to learn from her mom while keeping her young son close by; [close meaning, she made him a bed on a converted shelf behind the till]. Amy used many art forms to express herself, all the while being rooted in her role as a mother, a daughter, an auntie, and a future matriarch.

Amy got things done. She wasn’t scared to take on any job. She stepped up to act as guardian to her niece and nephew in times of need, to be the caregiver for her mom, and she became an equal partner and breadwinner in the business. Amy was always up for an adventure, we’re sure many of you can share some wild stories with us.

Her work and pursuit of knowledge took her to Ottawa, New Zealand, Winnipeg, Toronto, Germany, £utselk‘e and beyond. She was involved in the Chamber of Commerce, the Calgary Stampede committee, Calgary Indigenous Day, Calgary Folk Festival and her son’s school, and facilitated countless sessions with institutions and corporate clients about her culture. She appeared on TV as Musqwa Woman in Tin Star, and created short animated films with her son. She was acknowledged with an award from International Aboriginal Tourism Conference and was a gifted speaker and advocate for indigenous culture.

Amy’s humour was legendary. She had a laugh that would sweep you up in pure joy. Whether it was telling stories from the store, singing and dancing in the kitchen while cooking, or just acting crazy, she had a big beautiful way of being and she shared it with the world.

A recent joy was entertaining people via Moonstone’s social media as “Emilia da Trapper.” While sipping coffee nonchalantly out of a moose toe, Emilia gave advice about fishing, hunting, and how to wipe yourself with just one square of toilet paper.

Amy was a brilliant shining light in the world and touched the hearts of many people. She held great knowledge and responsibility for her family and community. She had a special rapport that made everybody feel like she was their sister. She is a reminder to us to remember the good things. It is a time to focus on the gift she showed us of love.

Service: Due to COVID-19 health protocols, a private ceremony was held Friday, Jan. 29 and was live streamed via Leyden’s Funeral Home. .

A public celebration of life will be held this summer when all can attend. Everybody has an Amy story, and we’d love to hear them all.

Amy’s ashes will remain in Calgary, and Emilia da Trapper will go to the trap line in Swan Hills.

Yvonne and Amy’s family wishes to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support in this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers please bring a hindquarter to her Mama. [Jokes! Just call first before you head out!]

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