IRC Remembers Fred Bennett
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is saddened at the loss of Fred Bennett, a valued and knowledgeable leader and steady, long-serving representative of his Paulatuk community. We extend our condolences and respects to his wife Mary, children, grandchildren and extended family, as well as the Paulatuk and Inuvialuit communities, with deep-felt gratitude for all of his contributions.
Throughout his life, Fred was a dedicated representative and proud advocate for his people and the land.
In the 1980s, Paulatuk chose Fred Bennett as their representative to the Inuvialuit Enrolment Committee where he served until 2018, entering and approving Beneficiaries into the Inuvialuit Trust under the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.
As Chair of Paulatuk Community Corporation, Fred signed the Tuktut Nogait (Nurrait) Agreement with Canada, and he later served on the Tuktut Nogait National Park Management Board to continue implementing the terms of this agreement- made for greater protection of the land and caribou, to the benefit to Inuvialuit and enhancement of the IFA.
Fred earned the Inaugural Restorative Justice Award for the Territory in 2013 for creating On the Land programs while serving as Committee Justice Coordinator, demonstrating the benefits of time spent harvesting. He was honoured again for his work for wellness supports in 2018, when Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami presented him with the Advancement of Elders Award.
Always advocating for support services and wellbeing programs for all ages, Fred was the Chair of IRC’s Community Development Committee and Paulatuk representative to an International Congress of Circumpolar Health while on the Inuit Health Survey Steering Committee, helping usher in Inuit health improvements and self-determination measures that were created in our region by and for Inuvialuit.
Fred Bennett was an involved, respected and committed advocate, and will be long remembered for his decades of dedication to Inuvialuit wellbeing through his many roles. His leadership, mild demeanor and character will be deeply missed.
photo credit: ITK, 2018.