THUNDER BAY – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Executive Committee offers condolences to the family and friends of Alex Van Bibber, 98, who passed away in a Calgary hospital yesterday.
“It is with the deepest respect that we offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Elder Van Bibber, and the communities of Champagne and Aishihik First Nation, Pelt Crossing and Whitehorse, Yukon,” said Assembly of First Nations Yukon Regional Chief Mike Smith. “We have lost a true leader, a role model and courageous veteran. His stories will stay strong in our hearts and in our communities, and I encourage the young people to learn about his experiences and share them. He fought for this country, he fought for his fellow soldiers and he fought for First Nations and our rights. We commend Elder Van Bibber’s many accomplishments and carry forward his efforts and contributions to the betterment of First Nations in the Yukon region and across the country.”
Elder Van Bibber was an active member of the AFN National Veterans Council member and one of the last surviving veterans of the Second World War. He was a Life Time member of the First Nations Veterans of Canada and is the recipient of the 2013 Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award and a member of the Order of Canada.
Together with his wife, Elder Van Bibber founded the Yukon Outfitters Association and the Yukon Fish and Game Association, which honoured him later by recognizing his work with youth in Yukon by way of the Clay Pugh Memorial Award for Sportsman of the Year, often said to be the accomplishment in which he took most pride. He was a trapping instructor for the Yukon government for 37 years and led his final outdoor camp just two years ago.