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Cece Hodgson-McCauley, the founding chief of the Inuvik Dene Band and a well-known columnist, has died at 95, her daughter-in-law confirmed Monday. (Indspire) Cece Hodgson-McCauley, the founding chief of the Inuvik Dene Band and an outspoken columnist and Northern advocate, has died at 95.

Hodgson-McCauley died Sunday evening at her home in Norman Wells, her family said. Her death comes one week after she announced in her regular News North column that she was battling liver cancer.

"I always tell you the truth," she wrote, in what would be her final column. "You know, I have had a great life!"

Hodgson-McCauley was known as a fierce advocate for the Mackenzie Highway extension, saying it would fight poverty and lower living costs in Mackenzie valley communities.

Her weekly column was, at times, controversial. In January, she wrote that some people lied about their experiences in residential schools in order to "receive as much money as they could." When it was met with criticism from local elders, she stood by her writing.

Hodgson-McCauley was the former president of the Norman Wells Land Corporation, and was named the Inuvik Dene Band’s honorary chief for life. She is also the founder of Women Warriors of the Sahtu.

Last year, she received an Indspire Award for her work improving and developing Northern communities.

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