The passing of 38-year-old Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) Deputy Chief Kristine McLeod has shaken the territory.
Many can’t seem to forget her playful energy, beautiful smile and big heart, all signs of a great Gwich’in leader.
“Our world will never be the same without her,” says Kim Campbell, one of McLeod’s many cousins.
McLeod was not just a leader in her community, but at home as well.
In a Facebook message directed to CKLB, Campbell said Kristine made everyone feel so special.
“She was always the brightest light in any room,” she says. “She had a special way of making everyone feel loved, seen and heard.”
This includes Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik who worked closely with McLeod during her term as deputy chief.
“She brought a lot of capabilities, both technical and operational,” he says. “She’s a very strategic thinker, but also most importantly knew how to connect with people on a personal level.”
Kyikavichik said he knew he could rely on McLeod because they shared the same vision for the Gwich’in people.
“I knew as a deputy that (she) would support me when required and challenge me when required.”
Now leaders and residents alike look back on all the fond memories shared with McLeod as the funeral service is scheduled to take place later today.
A live stream of McLeod’s funeral service will be available virtually through the GTC’s Facebook page on Aug. 18 at 1:55 p.m.
A community feast is scheduled to take place after the proceedings where several large bags of dry fish have been donated by the culture camp in Fort McPherson to aid in the services.