Edward Lennie (Inglangasuk), a respected Elder from the Beaufort Delta, has passed away.
In a tribute on Facebook, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) offered condolences to the family and region on his loss.
“The loss of Edward cuts deep into our community and our thoughts are now with the family. We all prayed for him and hoped he would make another recovery,” said IRC chair and chief executive officer Duane Smith.
“We will mourn him and the many others we continue to lose during these difficult times.”
Lennie was known as “the father of northern games,” wrote the IRC, explaining he was behind a revitalization project for Inuvialuit games. He received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award – now the Indspire Awards – in 2003 for his work.
“The legacy of the Northern Games will continue to flourish through much of the efforts of Edward Lennie,” said the IRC.
“Even in his failing health he continued to offer his support to all participants involved, as recently as last February, at the annual Northern Games Summit at East Three Illiharvik in Inuvik.
“Edward always encouraged children and provided words of wisdom, including never to use the word ‘I can’t.’ He encouraged them to always try their best.”
The IRC added Lennie had formerly been a member of the Inuvialuit Enrolment Committee, helping review applications for acceptance into the Inuvialuit Trust.
The Lennies were known for raising many foster children as part of their family, for bringing youth on the land, and for teaching their culture and traditional values.
“Today we lost a huge part of our history,” wrote Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler. “May you rest now, Uncle Edward.”