Philip Campbell (Cam) Mackie
December 1, 1937 – May 22, 2023
Cam was a fine man – sweet, thoughtful, kind and endlessly curious. He loved a conversation – any conversation – and would leave the checkout line at the grocery store knowing the ambitions and life history of the check-out person. He would tell you that his greatest accomplishment and ongoing joy was his two boys and their families: Christopher, his wife Mischa, the three granddaughters – Evelyn, Gwen and Alexandra, and the newest grandson, William Campbell Mackie (he was thrilled with this name); and Craig, his wife Caitriona, and their sons Zibi and Emmet. He and his wife Doris Mae were a devoted couple. He loved telling stores, the opera, a good scotch, the cabin, and dark chocolate.
Graduating as a social worker, activism was in his bones – first on the railway gangs with Frontier College, then on the streets of North Winnipeg. Moving to Ottawa, he provided leadership to some of Canada’s most innovative social change programs: Company of Young Canadians, Opportunities for Youth, Local Initiatives Program and Local Employment Assistance Program. He was the first senior federal bureaucrat to recognize that in order to make real change in Canada’s relationship to Indigenous people there needed to be Indigenous leadership; as Assistant Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs in the early 1980’s, he took the radical step of appointing well respected Indigenous leaders in senior Ministry positions across the country. He was an honourary member off the Peguis First Nation.
Cam made a difference in the lives of the people around him in so many ways – whether it was a kind word, some sage advice, or a handy and helpful project, often completed with the passion of an artist. A celebration of life will be held at the cabin in August, and also in Winnipeg at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church on December 2, 2023 at 10:00 am. Donations in Cam’s honour may be made to United for Literacy at www.unitedforliteracy.ca, or to Crescent Fort Rouge United Church at www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/crescent-fort-rouge-united-church/.