81 year old Philomena Alphonse passed away Monday with family by her side.

Alphonse was a Cowichan Tribes Chief for 6 years, a councilor for 16 years, worked as the Manager of the Education Department for over 10 years and participated in numerous other organizations.

The beloved elder was a strong advocate for women and children, and for the revitalization of First Nations language, traditions, ceremonies and spirituality.

Philomena married Dennis Alphonse Senior in 1952 and together they had 8 children.

Her funeral will be held at the Si’em Lelum Gymnasium on Friday.