Adrian Lizotte, NWT wildlife officer who ‘thrived outdoors,’ passes away

Adrian Lizotte with wife Amy
Adrian Lizotte with wife Amy. Photo: Supplied

Adrian Lizotte, a devoted father who dedicated most of his adult life to protection of the Northwest Territories’ environment, has passed away at the age of 42.

Yellowknife’s McKenna Funeral Home said Adrian passed away on Saturday, April 23. The cause of his death, a representative for the family said, is not yet fully understood.

A service for Adrian is to be held on May 7, with details to follow.

“Adrian loved his family, friends, and loved living the traditional lifestyle,” the Lizotte family said in a written tribute.

“His kids were his pride and joy – passing down his traditional knowledge, coaching hockey and making them happy.

“Outdoors is where he thrived. His free time would be spent hunting, fishing, trapping, quadding, snowmobiling, camping, hanging at the cabin and spending time with everyone.”

Adrian, born in Fort McMurray in 1979, moved to the Northwest Territories in the late 1990s. He met his wife, Amy, in Yellowknife after they were introduced by a friend.

In the NWT, Adrian became known for the love he brought to his work.

Initially working in corrections, in 2008 he retrained with the territory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources and was hired as a renewable resource officer.

By 2018 he had become the North Slave’s regional manager.

Adrian coaching
Adrian coaching. Photo: Supplied
Adrian at work
Adrian at work. Photo: Supplied

In a tribute to Adrian, the department said the many roles he filled in his career included fighting wildfires, patrolling the winter road, responding to predator attacks and working to conserve caribou.

His death, the department wrote online, had “brought great sadness to our department, community, territory and beyond.”

The tribute continued: “We offer our sincerest condolences to Adrian’s wife, children, family, friends and colleagues. Adrian was a skilled and dedicated ENR officer, colleague, mentor, a respected manager and friend to many. He was a wonderful person who will be very greatly missed.”

His family, recalling his love for almost any sport, described him as “the life of the party” and a man determined to make everyone his best buddy, even if he had only just met them.

“His love for his family and friends was very apparent. He loved the drinks around the campfire, too. His smile and laugh were infectious and he was always helping a family member or friends out,” his family said.

“He was larger than life and will be deeply missed.”

An online fundraiser for the Lizotte family raised $40,000 in its opening two days.

“He had a huge spirit for life, family, and friends,” read a further tribute on the fundraising page.

“He strived to create a happy life for his family. In dedication to Adrian, we would like to carry on the passion for his family in this most difficult time.”

Adrian leave behind wife Amy and children Wesley, Kole and Sofia.

“We are thinking of all who knew and cared about Adrian during this difficult time,” his department said. “May Adrian rest easy knowing the great impact he had on so many.”