A community in Edmonton, Alberta, is mourning the passing of Jordan Turko, CEO of Turko & Associates, a visionary leader. Jordan Turko passed away from stage 4 lung cancer on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at the age of 31. He is remembered for his strength, empowerment, and steadfast commitment to his Indigenous heritage.
The adventure Jordan Turko took was nothing short of amazing. He had a strong bond with the land, the people, and the customs of the Indigenous communities that had long existed in Edmonton, Alberta, where he was born and nurtured. He established Turko & Associates in 2017, a business with a strong foundation in Indigenous values, ethics, and reverence for the Treaty Six Territory on which it was built.
The Essence of Turko & Associates
Turko & Associates quickly gained recognition as a trusted partner for Indigenous Chiefs and communities across Western Canada. The company’s ethos was firmly grounded in authenticity, laughter, and an unwavering commitment to delivering on promises – in short, getting things done.
Founded in 2017, the firm was Indigenous-owned and operated, showcasing Turko’s deep understanding of balancing progress with tradition, business with ceremony, and strategic planning with Powwow. The company’s modus operandi was not solely motivated by profit but by a mission-driven approach, guided by the profound belief that trust was the ultimate currency.
At the core of Turko & Associates was their ability to forge trust and build meaningful relationships. The team was a mosaic of diverse creatives, strategic advisors, and relationship professionals, each bringing their unique expertise from both public and private sectors across the globe. Turko & Associates was where “Story & Strategy Fell In Love,” as their mission statement proudly proclaimed.
Headquartered in downtown Edmonton, this company was committed to uplifting Indigenous communities through their work. They operated within the framework of the 7 Sacred Grandfather Teachings, an Indigenous guide to ethical and moral behavior, ensuring that their energy and ethics aligned with the people and projects they championed.
Turko & Associates’ work encompassed three key pillars:
- Create Empowering Narratives: The company was adept at producing cinematic videos and visual products that touched the hearts of viewers, shaping leaders, achieving strategic goals, and empowering communities.
- Manage Strategic Relationships: Turko & Associates understood the value of building and nurturing the right network of relationships. They excelled in connecting leaders and teams with key government figures, industry stakeholders, investors, media outlets, and other identified partners.
- Design Sustainable Solutions: The company was dedicated to creating opportunities and facilitating meaningful change for their clients through a range of services, including executive leadership strategic support, project management, research and analysis, strategic planning, and policy design and implementation.
Jordan Turko’s journey took an extraordinary turn in April 2022 when he received an unexpected diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer at the young age of 31. Despite this challenging prognosis, Jordan remained resilient and continued to lead his team from his hospital bed. His indomitable spirit became a source of inspiration not only for his colleagues but also for Indigenous communities and beyond.
His dedication to his Indigenous roots was unwavering. Jordan embraced Indigenous ceremonies and rituals, becoming an Oskâpews in ceremonial lodges and even participating in a sun dance last summer while battling cancer. His determination to persevere, even in the face of such adversity, served as a powerful example to those around him.
As news of Jordan Turko’s passing spread, tributes poured in from friends, colleagues, and the community. André Bear, Founder, Director, and CEO of Indigenous Nation Rebuilding, spoke of Jordan’s deep connection to Indigenous culture and his inspiring journey. He recounted how Jordan’s determination during his battle with cancer motivated others to keep moving forward.
Kaycee Madu, a resident of Edmonton and a close friend of Jordan, shared a touching message from their recent communication. Jordan’s last text to him showcased his caring and thoughtful nature, even in the midst of his illness. Madu fondly remembered Jordan’s work on a video project that highlighted his life, family, and public service.
Jordan Turko left behind a legacy of tenacity, determination, and a dedication to improving Indigenous communities through his work at Turko & Associates. His life served as a tribute to the strength of unyielding resolve, close cultural ties, and the capacity to motivate others around him, even in the face of the most difficult obstacles.
While Edmonton and the Western Canadian Indigenous communities lament the passing of this inspirational leader, they also honour the enduring legacy he has left behind. Although Jordan Turko’s spirit may have crossed over to the other side, his light still shines brilliantly, illuminating and motivating everyone who had the honour of knowing him.