Gloria Cranmer Webster, BA (UBC 1956), LLD honoris causa (UBC 1995), Officer of the Order of Canada (2017), among many other honours, passed away April 19, 2023, at the age of 91. Born the eldest daughter of Chief Dan Cranmer and Agnes Cranmer on July 4, 1931, Gloria is predeceased by her brothers Douglas, Donovan, David, Daniel and Roy and sister Frances.
Gloria is survived by her younger siblings Margaret Cranmer and Bill Cranmer, her beloved children, Kelly (John Pope), John, and Daniel, and grandchildren Dustin, Michelle, Lucas, Taylor, Daniel Jr., and great-grandchildren Madison, Dallas and Logan.
A true trailblazer, Gloria was the first Indian woman to graduate with a BA from UBC. She worked for the John Howard Society, where she met her husband, John Angus Webster. She also worked at Oakalla.
After working for the Museum of Anthropology, Gloria moved home to Alert Bay in 1975. She then set about the repatriation of stolen cultural treasures. She was instrumental in the design and construction of the now famous U'mista Cultural Center. As U'mista's Founding Director and Curator, Gloria characterized the return of the stolen treasures in this way: "It's as if we are returning to ourselves", and the society's name "U'mista" loosely translated means "the return of loved ones stolen."
Gloria travelled the world and dedicated her life to the cultural revitalization of the 'Namgis community. She was the constant star around which family, friends, colleagues, and students orbited. Gloria inspired a whole generation of family members to also seek post-secondary education.
Her unconditional love for her family and community is why she fought so hard and for so long. Her powerful light continues to make us all shine brighter.
Funeral Service will start at 1pm at the Alert Bay Big House on Saturday, April 29th.