Catherine Jeanette Pawis passed away suddenly on June 14th 2022, in the home she loved.
Catherine (Cathy) was a lifelong, gifted educator. She devoted herself to her students, colleagues, and school communities. Starting her career in Toronto, Catherine was a long serving member of the TDSB, inhabiting many roles, and ascending to the role of principal. She has served on several volunteer boards, specific to Indigenous communities. For the past ten years, Cathy has been the principal of Wasauksing Kinomaugewgamik School, passing along her love of learning to the next generation of First Nations students. Catherine was currently serving as secretary of the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body (KEB), after years in the position of Chair. Although she was an exemplary teacher and administrator, Catherine remained a student herself, always excited to learn something new.
Predeceased by mother Betty and father George, Cathy is survived by her siblings Gail, Pamela, Cameron and Steven, and sisters-in-law Michelle and Kristy. She will be sorely missed by her nieces and nephew, Nicole, Jake, Presley and Macy. She leaves behind many aunts, uncles, cousins, and members of the community that have become as close as family.
Sacred fire is burning at Wasauksing Kinomaugewgamik School, and will be transferred to Shawanaga First Nation for visitation on Sunday June 19th, beginning at 11:00 A.M. at the Rec Centre. Spiritual Ceremony and Interment to follow on Monday June 20th at 11:00 A.M.
In lieu of flowers we are collecting donations to give back to the Wasauksing and Shawanaga First Nation communities as well as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in honor of Catherine:
THOUGHTS, PRAYERS TO FAMILY, FRIENDS & ALL THE CHILDREN. YOU TAUGHT KINDNESS, LOVE, UNDERSTANDING & A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ALL 💖 YOU WILL BE MISSED MY FRIEND 💔-Buppy
Cathy was a vibrant woman who always found the time to stop and say hi and chat. I always loved hearing about her students and the latest events at the school.
I will miss you dearly,
Dan.-Dan, Karen & Brandon Ladouceur
Our condolences to all of the friends, colleagues and family that she left behind.-Mike Kalfus and Kara Huggins
Cathy was a tremendous educator and patriot/ambassador of Shawanaga. I had the privilege of serving with her on the Toronto Native Child Welfare Organization, back in 2004-05, as we worked with our fellow board members during them formative years. I was so proud to see another Shawanaga member working to help our people within the urban setting. RiP My Friend, your work is now finished in this life. Enjoy the rewards that our Creator has waiting for you on the other side. Baa Maa Pii-Dwayne
Please accept my condolences. Cathy was a genuine and caring mentor for me during my time at Anduhyaun. Her heart and passion in her leadership is what makes her stand out. Ill remember the sound of her joyful laugh as one of my favourite memories of her.-Jannies Le
Deepest condolences to the family and friends .l was honored to have met this wonderful lady when l came down 2 volunteer for our Wasauksing Pow Wow gathering each Year-Ann King
May you find consolation in the thought that others are thinking of you and God is with you always.-Tom and Sue Besner
My deepest sympathies to Pamela, Gail, Cam & Michelle, Steven & Kristie, and your children. I am so sorry for your loss. Cathy was such a good person, my family will forever be grateful to her and the kindness and caring she had shown my family. Cathy visited my mother in LTC on Fridays before she hurt her foot, she tried her best to give the eulogy at my father’s funeral just a little over a year ago, my heart broke for her because she cried so hard through it because her heart was too big and her sympathy and empathy was too great. I find it so sad that she has passed away too soon. I take a little solace in knowing her beloved mother (Auntie Betty) is there waiting on the other side, Uncle Sock (George) too. My dad will be waiting as well, and I’m sure he’ll be so glad to thank her for caring for my mother (Auntie Val).
I’m sending you all hugs from my family to all of you.
My childhood memories are filled with laughter shared with you. Fireworks was always such fun. Your Dad and my Dad made it special for us all. As we became adults we embraced our culture and tried to do our best. Loved travelling that road with and will hold you in my heart always. My much loved cousin… safe travels💖-Kim Wheatley
Condolences from my family to yours.
Cathy was such amazing Kwe, one of the sweetest and kindest I know, she always had the right thing to say at the right time, her empathy and love has touched a lot of us. My deepest condolences to the family. She will be missed deeply 🌹-Taylor
From her colleagues at Wasauksing, we send the deepest condolences. Our Gimaa-kwe has left us bundles here to learn great lessons from. It gives us great impetus to move forward, and live life in a good way, mnobimaadiziwin. In her sudden departure, she has taught us the importance of supporting and lifting each other up. It has awakened us to work together to overcome the challenges we face and create a beautiful place of learning. May she travel beautifully through that Western doorway.-Wasauksing Kinomaugewgamik
Deepest condolences to the family. I got to know Catherine through Wasauksing’s Kinogameugamik school. Catherine was always supportive of bringing the kids to participate in all kinds of cultural activities and programs. Her knowledge and deep support for Indigenous education will be greatly missed.-Rebeka Tabobondung
Catherine was a Board member and current President of Nekenaan, a shelter for women here in Toronto. I got to know Cathy in the last 5 years and her passion for children and Indigenous women was so genuine. It was an honour to sit and learn from her. RIP Cathy.-Evonne Wright
To the family and community of Catherine, my deepest condolences to you all. My heart is broken to hear that Catherine is no longer with us. I have known Catherine for the last 10 year or more. She was one of the most kind and genuine people I had the privilege to get to know and call my friend. Family was so important to her. She often spoke of her siblings and nieces and nephews with me. May the Creator wrap his loving arms around you all in this difficult time. RIP my beautiful soul sister.-Janice Cads
My condolences Gail, to you and your family on the loss of your sister Cathy.-Rhonda Mullin
Condolences to her family and communities and tobacco down for her journey. Catherine always put the students and community first and was such a great leader who left us way too soon. May her legacy live on in the hearts of the many lives she has touched.-Taunya Paquette
My dear cousin from as far back as I can remember our family spending time together us kids hanging out enjoying each other's company sometimes up 2 no good LoL but our family love never wavered fast forward to years later and we find each other again at the conservation park close to where your family lived picnics swimming barbecues frisbee playing catch all that fun stuff it was always enjoyable. Fast forward to the 2000s when our family was reconnected again at my parents place in Shawanaga
It was as if no time had passed at all we were connected again enjoying each other's company
Your kindness which came from the bottom of your heart will always be remembered you loved my parents I'm sure as much as I did. You're unwavering time and attention that you gave to my parents was so appreciated
I say goodbye for now fly High Cuz Luv 4ever & a Day ❤️ Deb XOX
I have great high school memories of that spunky girl in Latin class named Cathy. As well as shared classes at Banting, we worked at the Nottawasaga Inn together- a different type of education. The memory of our class trip to Quebec City and a very interesting horse and buggy ride makes me smile. She was bright and friendly and very brave. I’ll miss her presence here in this world. Condolences to all.-Dawn Robson
I was lucky enough to share a classroom with Cathy in the 1991-1992 school year at Milne Valley Middle School in Toronto. She was already a very talented and passionate educator who clearly put her students well-being ahead of all else. She taught me a lot about having empathy for students and I am not surprised that this remained a very significant part of her legacy. RIP, dear Cathy.-Sean Henry