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Elder and former Lutselk’e Chief Antoine Michel died Monday in hospital. He was 64 years old. The Akaitcho Assembly in Fort Resolution, N.W.T., has been postponed this week due to the passing of Lutselk’e elder and former chief, Antoine Michel.

Michel died from a lung disease Monday morning at Yellowknife’s Stanton Territorial Hospital, according to a Dene Nation news release. He was 64 years old.

"We send our thoughts, prayers and condolences of comfort to the family of elder Antoine Michel," Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus said in the release.

"His was a legacy of purpose and leadership to the community of Lutselk’e, Denendeh. He was renowned for his skills as an accomplished trapper and very knowledgeable of the land that he loved to be on."

Michel was the leader of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation more than once. He was chief in the 1990s and elected again in 2010.

"He was a good and effective leader with proactive approaches to lead his people," said Erasmus.

"His main focus was to finalize the Akaitcho Territory Government negotiations . It was very important to him to see a final settlement agreement."

While it was important for Michel to lead in the boardroom, it was just as important for him to spend time in the bush.

Erasmus says Michel took a "traditional approach" to hunting and trapping, adding "it was his way of life."

Michel was married to Mary Jane Catholique until she died in 2016. He will be buried next to her in Lutselk’e when the funeral takes place on Thursday.

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