With sadness, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne announces the passing of Harry Thompson. Harry worked for many years in the Traditional Medicines Program, sharing his knowledge of our traditional teachings and medicines with clients who accessed the program. Harry was instrumental in developing and establishing the “Medicine Wheel Program” for Traditional Medicines, a program that is still used today. 

Harry had also served indigenous youth working as a counselor for MCA’s Ionkwanonhsasetsi Adolescent Group Home. Harry had a profound impact on the lives of the young people he worked with by helping them connect to their culture and self-identity, which would provide them with the pride, confidence, and hopefulness they needed to live life on a good path.

Harry was very passionate about his culture, history, medicines, and language, sharing his knowledge with anyone who engaged with him. Harry taught his clients the importance of “self-discovery.” Even if Harry knew about a certain topic of discussion, he would allow his clients to talk and discover things about themselves. He would teach his clients to find strength in their weaknesses, embracing their emotions instead of suppressing them, giving them courage to address those feelings, often ending his sessions with, “So, what did you learn about yourself today?”  

Harry gave his clients, coworkers, and community members, a safe space to express themselves, using his passion for cultural identity and teachings to help others with self-awareness, empowerment, and growth. 

We extend our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Harry Thompson, and our staff, who are mourning his loss.