Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Celebrated Yukon First Nations Leader Mike Smith Has Died

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Celebrated Yukon First Nations Leader Mike Smith Has Died

Article excerpt

Celebrated First Nations leader Mike Smith is dead

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WHITEHORSE - First Nations leader, Yukon lawyer and residential school survivor Mike Smith died Wednesday in Whitehorse.

His family released a statement Thursday saying that Smith wanted his condition and last days to remain confidential. His age and cause of death were not released.

"Mike was a great leader who shared the vision of the many leaders he worked with in trying to build a better future for his people," the statement says.

He was Yukon's regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations when he died.

Smith was a residential school survivor who went on to earn his law degree in 1984 and become one of the first two Indigenous lawyers in Yukon, the statement says.

He was a "great legal mind," at the forefront of the Yukon First Nations land claims movement, which gathered momentum in the early 1970s, it says. …

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