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Lloyd Girman

Image by Nick Andréka

LLOYD GIRMAN

August 11, 1947 – May 22, 2024

Lloyd Girman passed away peacefully on May 22nd, 2024 in Winnipeg at the age of 76 surrounded by loved ones. He was a cherished friend to many and a beloved husband to Lea Girman; father to his sons, Jared (Christine Muckle), Jordan (Ashleigh McTavish-Wisden), and Joshua (Ashleigh Hall); and grandfather to Cole, June, Hannah, Penny, and Eleanor.


Lloyd was known for his strength of character and unwavering principles. He was often described as a force of nature who would work tirelessly for what was right, in business, for the community, and personally all while maintaining a wonderful sense of humor. Those that were blessed to know him found themselves pulled along in his wake and picking up whatever project or cause he was working on to better the world around him. A loving husband, caring father and champion of causes that others felt unable to undertake, he truly made the world a better place, not for recognition or payment but because it was the right thing to do.


Lloyd’s contributions to the community are too many and varied to list, but he started his career even before leaving university, supporting the founding of organizations such as Crisis Bus, Kiazan, Klinic, and many more. He worked for Opportunities for Youth in Northern Manitoba and later the Non Medical Use of Drugs Directorate in Toronto and Treaty Nine.  Moving back closer to home, he worked for Grand Council of Treaty Three and as Director of the Charlie Macleod Manor in Kenora. Then after a time where he assisted in rewriting the child welfare act in Manitoba, he became Secretary to the Aboriginal Affairs Committee of Cabinet and later Deputy Minister of Northern Affairs under Elijah Harper, and as such was involved in discussions that led to the repatriation of the Constitution.  He went on to champion Indigenous communities and ensure their control and involvement in projects, while creating opportunities for ownership, equitable fiscal participation, and generational capacity development in projects as diverse as the Diavik Diamond Mine, the Moose River Basin Hydro Development Agreement, the Mattagami River Hydro Development Agreement, the establishment of Five Nations Energy, the founding of Buchanan Renewable Energy in Liberia, Africa, Wataynikaneyap Power, and development agreements with Matawa Tribal Council, to name just a few. 


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Klinic Community Health in Lloyd’s memory.


A memorial service will be held at a later date.


The family wishes to thank the staff at St. Boniface Hospital for their outstanding care and compassion.


Lloyd’s family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by sharing photos, memories, and stories, using the comment section on this page.

ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

Memories, Stories and Condolences

 

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Barbara Fox, Sarah Del Giallo + Enterprise Canada

June 10, 2024 at 2:02 PM

Lloyd was a singularly unique individual, one who are proud to call a colleague, mentor and friend to many across Enterprise Canada. He was steadfast in his conviction to leave the world a better place than he found it, particularly when it came to fostering relationships that make a real difference in the way we all live and work together. We are so grateful to have been able to work alongside him.

Bud Wildman

June 7, 2024 at 3:50 PM

As I extend my sincere condolences on Lloyd’s passing to Lea and his whole family, I’m reminded of his sense of humour, accompanied by his broad smile and hearty laugh when we first met in Toronto in the autumn of 1990.

We were both in the audience at a public presentation, on the newly elected provincial government’s position re: recognizing and protecting Indigenous traditional and Treaty rights and First Nations’ inherent right to self-government, by the Premier. I had recently been appointed to Cabinet portfolios, that might often appear at odds, as Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for Native Affairs (as it then called). Lloyd took me aside, introduced himself and said with a chuckle of irony, “I feel sorry for you.” Subsequently, I would rely on Lloyd to assist our government to resolve a number of difficult and complex issues with Indigenous leaders as a lead negotiator for the province.

Early on in our government’s mandate, I asked Lloyd to go to meet with members of the Lac LaCroix First Nation in northwestern Ontario in Treaty Three territory. Lloyd knew the people of the region well. Later, he related a story about that initial visit to the Lac Lacroix. Our intention was to open discussions about the need for an apology and compensation from the Ontario government for the establishment of Quetico Provincial Park early in the 20th century without proper consultations with the First Nation.

Lloyd told me he listened patiently as the Elders related a long litany of grievances and harm done to Lac LaCroix members. (Every statement had to be translated from Ojibway to English. And Lloyd’s responses had to be translated into Anishinaabowin.) It made for a very long and harrowing evening. It went on for hours.

At the end of the Elders’ presentations, Lloyd said that he understood that the First Nation’s rights had been denied, its territory stolen, its way-of-life destroyed and its members abused and often charged and incarcerated for exercising their rights to hunt, fish and trap. And then Lloyd offered to relate his people’s story, pointing out that he was Jewish. The Elders got the point and demurred. They understood that his forefathers had been repeatedly harmed by Europeans. It was unnecessary for Lloyd to relate the whole sorry history of European Jewry.

The meeting was then able to begin discussing the specifics of the apology and compensation owed by the people of Ontario to the First Nation and its members instead.

Eventually, Lloyd’s negotiations with the Chief and Council led to my visit to Lac LaCroix to hear the Elders’ stories, to my issuing a public apology in the Ontario Legislature and to the province building a road into Lac Lacroix (to give the First Nation direct road access to the outside world for the first time), to working out a compensation financial package for the First Nation and to signing a Quetico Park co-management agreement between the First Nation and the provincial government.

This is just one example of Lloyd’s ability to listen with good humour and empathy. It enabled him to devise responses that cut to the chase of difficult issues and to devise resolutions acceptable to both sides. I valued his good judgement and advice.

Janet and Larry Hershfield

June 5, 2024 at 2:23 AM

Janet and I send deepest condolences and much love to Lloyd's family. We have many happy memories and Lloyd had a big impact as he brought me to Kia Zan and also encouraged our relationship and his big smile lightened up the room at our wedding.

So many memories: the tractor and the farm, hockey goaltending and fighting, music, Boris speakers, stock cars, road trips, all the jobs and achievements........

One story: we were together and I kept calling him "Fats" as was my wont. One of the twins was visibly perturbed by this and called out wondering why Lloyd was standing for this. I did not have to worry: as powerful as he was in body, his sweet soul was that much more.

May his memory be a blessing.

IR

June 4, 2024 at 1:01 AM

In a sense there is a trail he blazed that is a million miles long that can never be properly stepped into all we can do is remember how tirelessly, selflessly and with honour and character built such a trail and how it opened a monumental path that we are privileged to follow and build on. Godspeed to Girman and may we never forget all he stood for.

David R James

June 2, 2024 at 9:37 PM

Condolences to family and friends. Lloyd and I were co tenants when were both at U of Man on Asinniboia in the 1960's, We stayed in touch for awhile. We had lunch together about 25 years ago in Winnipeg. We travelled together in his old van to the Grand Canyon. John Moriarty of Killarney, when he was a lecturer at U of M was with us. The trip is described in John's book Nostos.,

I was lucky to know Lloyd. I celebrate him and his life,

I send this from Kerikeri, New Zealand.

 

Nicholas Opazo-Ceicko

June 1, 2024 at 10:09 PM

I will forever miss our early morning breakfasts. The experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am beyond grateful that Lloyd took time out of his weekends to meet with me; as someone relatively new to my industry, he changed my perspective and mindset on setting goals and what I can achieve. The stories of his travels and accomplishments were so extraordinary and captivating, yet he always made a point to say, "I will always just be Lea Girman's husband." The love he had for his children and grandchildren was always apparent with the smile he had while talking about them.

 

Thank you, Lea, for allowing me to spend time with Lloyd as a mentor and friend. My deepest condolences to you, your children, and grandchildren.

Melody Morrison

June 1, 2024 at 2:32 AM

My thoughts and heart are with Lloyd's family A remarkable and truly fine man He was ax model and inspiration to so many of us. Rest well Loyd and thank you.

Tim Lutz

May 31, 2024 at 2:07 PM

Such sad news - and hard to believe that a man I always saw as "Larger than Life" is gone. He dearly loved his family, and he will be missed.

 

A memory I have is the story (one of so many fine stories), of Lloyd being in a high-level meeting of some sort, and the men there boasting about their high-priced suits. As I remember it, Lloyd showed them the label from his Moore's (well-dressed, well priced), and got down to business - perhaps making them question their own vanity.

 

Charismatic, pragmatic, generous, and caring - we were all beter for knowing him.

Donna McTavish and Robert Wisden

May 31, 2024 at 5:24 AM

Our family merged with the Girmans only a few years ago when our children were married, and although our friendship with Lea and Lloyd has been a relatively recent connection, Lloyd's passing has left an empty space in our lives.. We cannot express enough our sorrow, and our hearts ache for all who mourn his absence with us. We witnessed Lloyd's daily phone call with Jordan and know that speaking to his kids was his first order of business for the day. His love for family was so constant and evident.

One of our first impressions of Jordan was his honest and positive approach to the world, and when we met Lloyd, the source for his son's optimism was made clear.. Despite the disheartening news in the paper or on TV, Lloyd could always see a clear way forward through the chaos, and his reasoning and logic would challenge us to consider the world through a new lens. His legendary storytelling was one of the colourful ways he shared some of the details of his life, and gave you some clues as to what challenged him, kept him going and gave him happiness. We will miss his grounded outlook and approach to the world and his big, generous spirit, but grateful to have known him, if only for a short time.

This picture is from our last time together. Despite his shoulder and back pain Lloyd did not like to make a fuss of it. Instead, he talked of family, work, family, politics, and more family. It was clear what was on his mind. To you all we send our love and our home and arms remain forever open.

Meg Hutchings

May 31, 2024 at 12:55 AM

If it wasn't for Lloyd's words of encouragement and frustration, I wouldn't be where I am today. The love and passion he had to fight for ethicality was unfathomable and unmeasurable. He'll always have a place in my heart. Love to you all. Xxo

John MacKinnon

May 30, 2024 at 5:21 PM

I was first introduced to Lloyd by Wayne Gatien in Sioux Lookout at Wayaynikaneyap meeting in 2014. I came to learn that long before then Lloyd was a champion for Indigenous Communities.

 

I have heard may amazing Lloyd Girman stories from his son Josh, Wayne Gatien, Dean Gatien, and many others. A common theme in those stories was overcoming obstacles and getting hard things done. People didn't always love Lloyd in the moment, but they always loved him in the end.

 

I was fortunate enough to hear many amazing stories from all over the World from Lloyd himself. To say he lived a full life is a huge understatement.

 

My deepest condolences to the whole family.

Dean G. Gatien

May 30, 2024 at 4:20 PM

Will miss Lloyd dramatically. He has been a huge influence in my professional life. It was the friendship we created during Five Nations Energy that showed me Lloyd Girman the person.

 

His passion to develop projects and partnerships has helped Indigenous communities, organizations, and Canada. He changed laws, process, and mindsets.

 

Lloyd has numerous projects currently underway that we will struggle to move forward without his presence, knowledge, and experience. His spirit will get them completed.

 

My condolences and heartfelt sympathy for Lea, Josh, Jordan, Jared, and grandchildren. He was one of kind and will be missed forever.

Grant Wedge

May 30, 2024 at 3:54 PM

I find it hard to get over the shock of realizing I won't be getting any more of those wonderfully engaging surprise calls from Lloyd. I join with family, friends and colleagues in offering heartfelt condolences to Lea and Jared, Jordon and Joshau and family on the loss of such a fine man. My recollection of first meeting Lloyd was just before the May 24th weekend in 1991, I was the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Natural Resources and Native Affairs, and the Lac LaCroix First Nation had announced they were going into Quetico Park with motorized boats and guns to protest the disrespect for their Treaty rights by Ontario. I was advised to get Lloyd involved to sort it out. I made a cold call to him - and he called me back shortly saying, "Well I called the Chief, who's a friend, and when he heard I was on getting involved but couldn't come on the long weekend, the Chief said, 'Well that's OK, we'll wait for you and we won't go into the Park.'" And they never did, because Lloyd worked with all of us to getting an Agreement of Co-Existence. That was Lloyd's "MO" - be direct, make contact, focus on the interests and work to achieve beneficial agreements for all concerned. He was an "out-of-the-box" negotiator ... you sometimes didn't know what he would pull out next, but that was his magic. Thanks Lloyd for all you taught me about principled, honourable, transformative negotiationsand what it takes for Canadians to make reconcilciation with Indigenous Peoples real. I will miss you, that smile, your laugh and the stories, and most of all, your friendship and guidance.

Wayne Gatien

May 30, 2024 at 3:14 PM

I met Lloyd in the mid 90's during very turbulent times.

In his role Lloyd was a direct competitor. It took half a meeting for Lloyd to convince me that the only road to success was to join Team Girman .......... or else. His favourite line was , I have SH*T in one hand and a billion dollars in the other , PICK ONE! I chose the other.

The next 20 years of Lloyd Girman went by so fast it made my head spin.

Lloyd singlehandedly assembled group after group to lead the largest Indigenous projects in Canadian history. It would take many books to recount the tales of the innumerable "Girman" meetings , summits , arrangements , deals , contracts and beneficiaries of Lloyds work.

I personally blame Lloyd for all the good things that happened in my life by trying to hang on to his coattails!

To the Girman family , in 200 years Lloyd will still be a legend as it is impossible to replicate Lloyds achievements or find 10 people to try and fill his shoes.

Thank you Lloyd Girman and thank you Lea , Josh and Family for lending him to us.

Hugh Mackenzie

May 30, 2024 at 2:47 PM

I have wonderful memories of Lloyd in the years we worked together on a number of projects during the time I was CEO of Enterprise Canada. He was always ahead of the game with innovative solutions and superior negotiating skills. He was non confrontational and knew how to make people feel comfortable when it came to making difficult decisions. He had a wonderful sense of humour and was generous with his time and his advice. He was simply fun to be with whether socially or through business. My deepest sympathy to Lee and their family. May Lloyd rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing.

Jean Teillet

May 30, 2024 at 1:20 PM

Lloyd was married to my beautiful cousin Lea. He was a big man, with a big heart and big ideas. Our paths crossed several times over the years. He would call out of the blue wanting to talk about one of his projects. We sat a few times on the rooftop of a bar in Toronto talking about our work with Indigenous peoples. When I asked him to come to an economic forum I put together for the Stolo in BC, he didn't hesitate for one second. He came at his own expense and gave free expertise to us. I will truly miss Lloyd and his big generous heart and mind. My heart goes out to my cousin Lea and her family.

Ray Riley

May 30, 2024 at 12:47 PM

My initial vision of Lloyd was as a shadowey figure standing at the back of a lage meeting room at Queen's Park in 1990 when MNR senior staff were being introduced to the new NDP government. I believe he was introduced as a "consultant" and was associated with a group of senior Manitoba ex-bureaucrats (soon to become Ontario bureaucrats) brought into Ontario to provide expertise to the new Ontario government which itself had literally no governance experience.

Three months later he and I were lodged in the backseat of a commercial flight from Kenora to Thunder Bay when he enthralled me with the story of how he got to be in that plane that day - simply an electic and fastenating life story! I was a hooked Girman fan! I recall calling him one day and asking him to go to a First Nation and see if he could figure out why the Band seemed to be uncharacteristicly beating up on MNR in the press. He phoned the next day and asked "You got $35,000" "For what?" "A new daycare building - the Band wants a new daycare and Ontario is not listening! The Band has no problem with MNR, but you are handy and easy to beat on!" "OK, go for it" The result was that the Band got its new daycare building and MNR stopped being victimized by the Band in the press. Several years later he called one morning and indicated he was coming through town wanted to take me out to lunch. "Great, see you at 11.45!" Over lunch he laid out the details of a nacent Wataynikaneyap Power and the fact that later in the day he was attending a meeting to attempt to sell the notion to both Ontario Hydro and some international bankers. He phoned the next day, suggested the meeting had gone well and thanked me for helping. "I didn't do anything!" "Look Riley, I knew you'd ask me all the right questions and you simply provided a trial run for my meeting! Thanks!" Lloyd thought big, did not sweat the small stuff, exuded confidence, and simply loved and was so good at doing the deal! My life is definitely richer for having had the Lloyd experience. My sincere condolences to Lea, Jared, and the rest of the family. RIP big guy!

David de Launay

May 30, 2024 at 5:08 AM

Lloyd and I first worked together in 1993 when I was at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources trying to bring peace to the conflict between anglers and hunters in Ontario and Indigenous People over harvesting rights. Lloyd did his masterful thing of bringing parties with differing points of view to the table and I figured out how to move things through the bureaucratic and political minefields. It set a template for our work on many projects including hydro development and transmission lines with Indigenous participation or control. I learned so much from his approach - long term, behind the scenes, make things happen and don't get caught up in the day-to-day background noise. He taught me by example the importance of family and how to make time for those most precious in our lives. I never did learn how to spin a story as well as he could. The tales will fade, but I will always remember and cherish his support and kindness.

Margot Brown

May 30, 2024 at 12:04 AM

I have benefited from knowing Lloyd for over 50 years when we were in our early twenties. He was a constant, steady, positive, and non judgemental influence in my life. His enthusiasm for life and his work, love for Lea and his boys and grandkids never dimmed. He was such a superior being and we will all miss him terribly.

Doug Muir

May 29, 2024 at 8:37 PM

Where do I start? He was a great friend and brother-in-law to me. I am going to miss his phone calls just to see how I was doing. He would then go on to tell me about the great deal he got on a load of Cull lumber. He was very proud to have built his cottage with almost all this lumber he purchased were cull lumber. He was all about the deal. He also loved to build computers. I think he built a unit for most of the family. It was a passion for him. He was very techie. He loved his Boys and Lea. His grand kids were a huge joy for Lloyd. I am going to miss the breakfast and dinner get togethers and talk about every topic that was going on at the time. I am going to sure miss him. Rest in Peace my friend

Mary Hutchings

May 29, 2024 at 6:55 PM

The first time I ever met Lloyd was at the Paddle Wheel in 1965. We were kids in our teens then and we went on to be friends for the next 59 years. That gift is so rare and I am truly grateful. He was a devoted husband and father and so very proud of his boys. May you be comforted with all the mourners of Jerusalem,

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