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Born May 31, 1932, Freda was a woman who enjoyed and accomplished many things in her life. Married to John Cooper, she was mother to six children, Randy, Scott, Owen, John, Terry-Ann and Steve, six grandchildren, and several great grandchildren. They remember her as loving, caring, and very protective. She would often say she would battle any day if someone threatened her kids. She put a lot of emphasis on making sure her family and friends were cared for and well fed.
Passionate about education she was inspired to work with other women in the communities, the Saanich Homemakers to advocate to Indian Affairs, ensuring they handed over the authority of their children’s education to the communities. With this work, the Tribal school was founded. Later in her life, a proud moment for her was when she completed a Baccalaureate of Arts in Linguistics.
She has been described in many ways, as an activist, woman warrior, determined, and independent. She was an activist for women’s rights way before it was a popular thing to do. Although she followed and participated in different faiths over the years, she never turned her back on her Coast Salish heritage, her children learned to never be ashamed of their ancestry and who they are.
She offered support and shared her faith through counselling others. From paddling with the Kloochman to driving the “bunny bus”, many have shared their fond memories of Freda and how much she contributed to their lives and her community. She will be greatly missed.