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Howard Keith Ironstand (Gaagiiwegaaboit) Obituary

Brought to you by Aboriginal Funeral Chapel

Howard Keith Ironstand (Gaagiiwegaaboit)

Winnipeg, Manitoba

January 28, 1960 - June 4, 2024

Howard Keith Ironstand (Gaagiiwegaaboit) Obituary

With great sadness, our family has to announce the passing of Howard (Gary) Ironstand "Gaagiiwegaaboit," a loving and devoted partner, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to all who knew and loved him. Howard was born in Grandview, Manitoba on January 28, 1960 and was from the Tootinaowaaziibeeng First Nation. His mother Marlene Ironstand and his father Robert Shingoose, his brothers Pete Cochrane and Joey Ironstand and his foster mother Lena Shuttleworth predeceased him. He leaves to mourn Sara Corley, the boys Cyrus Corley, Arturo Corley, and Cassius Corley; as well as his son Ervin Enns Ironstand, his granddaughter Nevaeh Beardy, eldest son Joseph Enns Ironstand, his aunty, who he knew as his last mom, Mary "Topsy" Flett and his foster dad Alan Shuttleworth. In addition, Howard leaves to mourn his sisters Victoria Ironstand, Marion Cochrane, Sherry Cochrane, Nadine Shuttleworth and Charmaine Tettepasse and his brothers Rocky Quewezance, Wayne Shuttleworth and Robert Cochrane, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


Howard was sharp-minded and a caring man. When faced with life’s obstacles, he often was already planning a solution or else knowing when to "Keep it simple". In that sense, he was well balanced mentally. Howard was grounded culturally and spiritually, especially in the last 10-15 years with us he made it a priority to teach his kids and granddaughter about their heritage. He was a complicated yet simple man who will be missed and remembered by many, many people.


Howard went through many hardships in his life. Though Howard endured so much, he held on to the teachings his grandparents taught him as a child: priceless traditional spiritual practices and knowledge of traditional medicines and ceremonies.


Howard dedicated himself to the traditional road for the last twenty years but only picked up the pipe in 2013. This was a responsibility he took extremely seriously and did not fully take on until he was in a healthy place. Since that day, he would be on the land frequently picking medicines and teaching his family and children all he knew as well as many others with an open-door policy for the community. In addition, Howard founded an Ojibway language group with 17.6 thousand members and a First Nations Celebration success page to celebrate the language as a fluent speaker to teach and share all the successes of First Nations people. He also was a former social worker for Macdonald Youth Services.


Howard took his experience and turned it into a powerful healing force for himself and others. Through his healing process, he demonstrated tremendous courage and strength and selflessly assisted many people through their journeys with a powerful testimony of perseverance. Howard was granted the privilege and honour to work with a men's group at MINO MIKIINA BIMOSE ININI, which he named after he had a vision in a ceremony run by the staff at Forensic Psychology Services.

Though it is so hard to say goodbye to Howard, he fought so hard to stay in the last three years, he went through so much pain due to diabetes and heart disease. We, as a family, are comforted in knowing he is no longer in pain. It was hard on Howard that he could no longer walk in the bush, hunt, gather or spend time with family as easily. Howard passed on peacefully with family by his side as the creator called him to the spirit world. He is now at rest with his ancestors.


A traditional wake will be held open to the public on Saturday, June 15, 2024 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Aboriginal Funeral Chapel, 724 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg with an elder in attendance and a drum group from the community he grew up in while in foster care at the Ebb and Flow First Nation. Private viewing will follow at home for immediate family and close friends, with a sacred fire.


Bellow is a favorite quote of Howard’s that is symbolic of the profound life journey he went through.


"When a vision comes from the thunder beings of the west, it comes with terror like a thunderstorm; but when the storm of vision has passed, the world is greener and happier; wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a rain. The world, you see, is happier after the terror of the storm."


― Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux Black Elk


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Howard Keith Ironstand (Gaagiiwegaaboit) hosted by Aboriginal Funeral Chapel.

With great sadness, our family has to announce the passing of Howard (Gary) Ironstand "Gaagiiwegaaboit," a loving and devoted partner, father, grandfather, brother, and friend to all who knew and loved him. Howard was born in Grandview, Manitoba on January 28, 1960 and was from the Tootinaowaaziibeeng First Nation. His mother Marlene Ironstand and his father Robert Shingoose, his brothers Pete Cochrane and Joey Ironstand and his foster mother Lena Shuttleworth predeceased him. He leaves to mourn Sara Corley, the boys Cyrus Corley, Arturo Corley, and Cassius Corley; as well as his son Ervin Enns Ironstand, his granddaughter Nevaeh Beardy, eldest son Joseph Enns Ironstand, his aunty, who he knew as his last mom, Mary "Topsy" Flett and his foster dad Alan Shuttleworth. In addition, Howard leaves to mourn his sisters Victoria Ironstand, Marion Cochrane, Sherry Cochrane, Nadine Shuttleworth and Charmaine Tettepasse and his brothers Rocky Quewezance, Wayne Shuttleworth and Robert Cochrane, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


Howard was sharp-minded and a caring man. When faced with life’s obstacles, he often was already planning a solution or else knowing when to "Keep it simple". In that sense, he was well balanced mentally. Howard was grounded culturally and spiritually, especially in the last 10-15 years with us he made it a priority to teach his kids and granddaughter about their heritage. He was a complicated yet simple man who will be missed and remembered by many, many people.


Howard went through many hardships in his life. Though Howard endured so much, he held on to the teachings his grandparents taught him as a child: priceless traditional spiritual practices and knowledge of traditional medicines and ceremonies.


Howard dedicated himself to the traditional road for the last twenty years but only picked up the pipe in 2013. This was a responsibility he took extremely seriously and did not fully take on until he was in a healthy place. Since that day, he would be on the land frequently picking medicines and teaching his family and children all he knew as well as many others with an open-door policy for the community. In addition, Howard founded an Ojibway language group with 17.6 thousand members and a First Nations Celebration success page to celebrate the language as a fluent speaker to teach and share all the successes of First Nations people. He also was a former social worker for Macdonald Youth Services.


Howard took his experience and turned it into a powerful healing force for himself and others. Through his healing process, he demonstrated tremendous courage and strength and selflessly assisted many people through their journeys with a powerful testimony of perseverance. Howard was granted the privilege and honour to work with a men's group at MINO MIKIINA BIMOSE ININI, which he named after he had a vision in a ceremony run by the staff at Forensic Psychology Services.

Though it is so hard to say goodbye to Howard, he fought so hard to stay in the last three years, he went through so much pain due to diabetes and heart disease. We, as a family, are comforted in knowing he is no longer in pain. It was hard on Howard that he could no longer walk in the bush, hunt, gather or spend time with family as easily. Howard passed on peacefully with family by his side as the creator called him to the spirit world. He is now at rest with his ancestors.


A traditional wake will be held open to the public on Saturday, June 15, 2024 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Aboriginal Funeral Chapel, 724 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg with an elder in attendance and a drum group from the community he grew up in while in foster care at the Ebb and Flow First Nation. Private viewing will follow at home for immediate family and close friends, with a sacred fire.


Bellow is a favorite quote of Howard’s that is symbolic of the profound life journey he went through.


"When a vision comes from the thunder beings of the west, it comes with terror like a thunderstorm; but when the storm of vision has passed, the world is greener and happier; wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a rain. The world, you see, is happier after the terror of the storm."


― Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux Black Elk


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Howard Keith Ironstand (Gaagiiwegaaboit) hosted by Aboriginal Funeral Chapel.

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