Indigenous comedian Candy Palmater

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Ask anyone who knew actor, comedian and broadcaster Candy Palmater -- when she entered a room, her one-of-a-kind fun and unique personality filled it.

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"Her smile could light up a room and no matter what kind of day I might have been having, as soon as I got to see my Candy, it was just instantly better," said hairstylist Connor Lange,

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Born in New Brunswick and raised by her Mi'kmaw father and white mother, Palmater went to Dalhousie Law School in Halifax and became the first Indigenous law student valedictorian.

She later left her career in law and went to work for the Nova Scotia Department of Education, focusing on the need for Mi'kmaw culture and teachings in the province,

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Current APTN CEO Monika Ille had been the manager responsible for programming in Eastern Canada at the network in 2009.

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She was so good, sharing her story. She was funny, bright. She looked good on camera," said Ille.

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A true feminist trailblazer, Palmater changed perceptions of what it meant to be gay, to love one another and self-acceptance. 

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Last year, she also worked with Vancouver-based filmmaker Shana Myra on "Well Rounded," a documentary that tackles fatphobia.

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Lange was with her during her final days in hospital.