Former Délı̨nę chief, George Cleary passes away ‘peacefully’

Former Délı̨nę chief, George Cleary. (Courtesy of the Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government.)

The community of Délı̨nę lost George Cleary on Thursday, a beloved and outstanding leader.

The Cleary family says he passed away “peacefully” in a Facebook post.

He fulfilled many roles in his lifetime, as an educator, chief, and mayor, says Bernice Lavoie, Clearys sister-in-law in a Facebook post.

“The Sahtu has lost a great man,” she adds.

George Cleary will be remembered for being a humble leader who knew how to listen, says Raymond Taniton, former Sahtu chief and Cleary’s cousin.

“He had the vision to move forward,” Taniton explains.

Cleary played a crucial role in developing the Sahtu Land Claims in the 1990s and self-governance negotiations for Délı̨nę in the 1970s.

The Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government is organizing a chartered plane from Yellowknife to the community to transport family and friends to the funeral.

Jane Arychuck will be collecting donations for the family’s travel expenses.

The funeral will take place on Monday at 2 p.m. at St. Theresa Church.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108