Elder Elize Hartley


Elize Hartley – August 4, 1924 – April 3, 2020
The family of Elize Hartley is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our mother Elize Hartley (Cauchy, nee Huppé) at Parkview Nursing Centre on April 3, 2020. She was born in Vassar, Manitoba, one of ten siblings born to Joachim Huppé and Eva Huppé (nee Bacon). She was predeceased by her sisters and one brother, husbands Patrick Cauchy and Craig Hartley, son-in-law Wayne Wilson, grandson Dakota Kavanaugh and granddaughter Sharri Kimberley Ratcliff.

She is survived by her brother William (Joan), daughters Darlene Wilson, Carole (Celestin) Leclair, Susan Cauchy, Linda Cauchy (Alain Girard), Patricia Cauchy and step-daughters Vicki Hartley-Orange and Laura Hartley. Also mourning her are eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson.

Elize was a Red River Métis, with family history in the founding of the Province of Manitoba and in the historical struggle for cultural preservation and advancement of her people. She was a lifetime warrior- woman in Indigenous affairs, founding the Métis Women’s Circle and working tirelessly for healthy Indigenous women and their families across Canada. She was an honoured woman in her community and nationally. We are proud of mom and her ability to adapt to the magnitude of change she witnessed; from simple farm life to the technological age. Her legacy continues. We wish to express our gratitude to Parkview Nursing Centre for the extraordinary nursing care and kindness given to our mother in her last days.

Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Metis Women’s Circle (www.metiswomenscircle.ca) would be appreciated by the family.

Media Release

April 6, 2020

ONWA Celebrates the Life and Contributions of Elder Elize Hartley Thunder Bay, ON –The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) would like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences to the family of Elize Hartley, “Listening Fox Woman.” Ms. Hartley, a proud Red River Métis, touched countless lives in her commitment to cultural preservation and the well-being of her people. Family, friends and community celebrate her passion, strength, and resiliency as she travels to the spirit world.

Elize Hartley was a long-time member of the Ontario Native Women’s Association. She was a founding member of the Métis Women’s Circle located in Hamilton, ON. Her work focused on working in community to ensure that Metis and Indigenous women had access to much needed programs and services. She was very passionate about ensuring the history of the Métis people and Métis ways of knowing were shared throughout the community. As an author and storyteller, Elize knew the importance of knowing who you were and where you came from.

Her gift was ensuring that others knew this as well. “Elize embodied Indigenous women’s leadership. Her accomplishments were many. A member of the ONWA Board of Directors, Elize also served on the ONWA Grandmother Council and was the representative for the southern region for many years. She served as a leader who selflessly
contributed to the richness of the lives of Indigenous women across the country. Her life promoted and celebrated Métis culture, helping new generations on the path to rediscovering their identities and for this we are forever thankful,” stated ONWA Executive Director Cora McGuire-Cyrette.

ONWA Board President Dawn Lavell-Harvard remembers, “She was not just a role model she was an inspiration. She always had the highest of expectations for all of us and she never gave up on making sure we achieved our dreams.” It is the beauty and context of lives well lived and world’s changed by the passion and strength of women like Elder Hartley that we hold dearly at times like this.


Elize Hartley – Our Founder

Elize Hartley Listening Fox Woman

Elize HartleyOur Elder, Elize Hartley, answered students’ questions, gave guidance, and acted in the role of spiritual advisor to students. Students were encouraged to speak with the Elder on any issues or concerns dealing with their school experience. The Elder also led students in prayer and smudging ceremonies. Comments from students indicate that they make a special effort to attend school on days when Elders are present and find them to be comforting. Topics such as traditional medicines and kokum stories are shared.
Our song to honour Listening Fox Woman
Gzhe manidoo biindigen
Gzhe manidoo nga-noonaa
Gzhe manidoo na kwe taan
Eyaa Eyaa Eyaa

Great Spirit come in
Great Spirit I speak
Great Spirit answers me



Elize Hartley SpeechElize Hartley Recipient 2014 Vern Harper Award

The CAMH’s (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) National Aboriginal Day Celebration included the presentation of the Chapin A’sin Elder Vern Harper Award for Excellence in the Provision of Culturally-Based Practice.

This year’s winner was Elize Hartley, Elder-in-Residence with McMaster University in Hamilton.

“Our youth need identification. I found that when I went into the high schools and presented the aboriginal ways and ceremonies and talked about ceremonies, talked about tradition, talked about nation, those people, those young people got an identity,” said Hartley.

“When we started a few years ago talking and bringing the cultures they said, ‘I don’t know who I am’. And I said, ‘we’ll find out’, so we did. They just seemed to bloom.”



  • Elize awarding Carly Forget at Sir John A. MacDonald Graduation Ceremony tPhoto
  • Elder Elize Hartley with Carole Leclair
  • Elize at Horse Spirit & Young Men
  • Bear Spirit Parfleche Bag Presentation 2013
  • Elder Elize Hartley at Bear Spirit Parfleche Bag Presentation 2013
  • In the classroom
  • Elder Elize Hartley with Lynn Nicholson
  • Elder Elize Hartley at Big Drum Event
  • Elder Elize Hartley
  • Elder Elize Hartley
  • Elder Elize Hartley at age 15
  • Parents of Elize Hartley