10/19/2012 11:03 EDT | Updated 12/19/2012 05:12 EST

Funeral held in Saskatoon for prominent aboriginal educational leader

SASKATOON - Hundreds of people from across Saskatchewan packed into Saskatoon's Prairieland Park for the funeral of Randell Morris, president of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.

Morris, 47, died earlier this week from a sudden medical emergency, leaving his family, friends, co-workers and students in shock.

Friday's funeral began with a powerful entrance by George Gordon First Nation dancers carrying a large SIIT eagle staff.

Morris was a member of the First Nation, but grew up in Swift Current where he went to school with Premier Brad Wall.

Wall gave an emotional speech about Morris, describing how they re-connected later in life.

Wall said Morris often "over-delivered on his commitments" when the two met to discuss policies.

"He remembered everybody, that's how he was," said student Gloria Eagle.

"He would come into the classroom and he would be smiling, he was always smiling and always happy and hoping that you were doing good in your classes."

Simon Bird, vice-chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, called Morris a "warrior" who broke ground for First Nations students.

Wall, along with Cameco and PotashCorp, announced future scholarships in Morris' name.