Statement by Premier Dennis King on the passing of Keptin John Joe Sark

Hon. Dennis King, Premier of Prince Edward Island issued the following statement on the passing of Keptin John Joe Sark:  

“A passionate defender of indigenous culture, John Joe Sark spent his life as a builder of bridges. As a Keptin of the Mi’Kmaq Nation, he worked to teach history and promote respect and understanding between cultures for generations of Islanders.

John Joe was a determined man of principle and fierce independence whose legacy can be found in the schools and public institutions that have acknowledged painful histories and started on the path towards reconciliation and in the future generations of Islanders who are learning more about Mi’Kmaq history and culture.

As an author, he helped to educate and inspire. As an ambassador of his people, he proudly stood in front of premiers, prime ministers and pontiffs to seek respect and reconciliation. He was honoured with the Order of Prince Edward Island only to later return it in principled protest. 

I was honoured and proud to call John Joe a friend for many years. Through his friendship, he helped to shape my understanding of our shared history and to see our world through wider eyes. I will miss our time together. On behalf of the Province of Prince Edward Island, I wish to extend condolences and sympathies to the family and many friends of Keptin John Joe Sark who are mourning his passing.”

Media contact:
Adam Ross
Office of the Premier 

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