FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18th, 2015
Statement on the Passing of Ruth Flowers
Please accept my deepest sympathy as Nunatsiavut says goodbye to a strong leader, Ruth (Anderson-Edmunds) Flowers, who passed away after a long battle with sickness. Her courage in her fight with sickness was as strong as the courage she showed in all aspects of her life. Always the fighter, her greatest battle was her fight for Ruth, and one she took on with a smile every day, despite tremendous odds.
Ruth Flowers will be missed along Labrador’s North coast and by all who knew her across Labrador and across Canada. She was a woman who spoke her mind, stood strong for the underprivileged and was steady in her lobby for Aboriginal rights and inclusion. Anyone who knew Ruth knew that while she was fierce in her convictions, she was also one of the kindest, gentlest souls you could meet. She engaged everyone with respect, always cognizant of others feelings.
I first met Ruth at Labrador in the 90’s conference; she was talking about advancing protection and security for Inuit women and children, shelters and support services for the North coast communities. I was in awe of her determination then and remain so today. Ruth gave her life in service to her people and to her community.
She served as the first female Mayor of Nunatsiavut, leading her hometown of Makkovik, she went on to serve in many capacities of municipal and social leadership. Representing the people of Nunatsiavut was not just a passion for Ruth but a mission, a mission to a better tomorrow for the people and place she loved. She fought for improved housing, women’s equality and land claims. She fought alongside people like Charlotte Woolfrey for restorative Justice and RCMP presence in Makkovik, Rigolet, and Postville, and yes she won.
I want to express my deep sympathy to her family, her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, brothers and sisters and many friends. Labrador has lost a great, and courageous activist, we will all miss her and remember her through her great deeds and service to Labrador and the Inuit people.
She leaves to mourn her 98 year old mom, Muriel Anderson, her husband Abe Flowers of Hopedale and her children, MHA Randy Edmunds, Billy Edmunds, Sharon Edmunds and Muriel Edmunds, along with brothers Wally, Eric and Tony Anderson, Sisters Annie Edmunds and Iris O’Leary, 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren and many friends.