An aerial view of Kyuquot. Photo courtesy Walters Cove Resort

Kyuquot Checleseht First Nations chief Richard Leo dies at age 79

The First Nation’s offices in Houpsitas and Campbell River will remain closed on Tuesday Aug. 25

Kyuquot/Checleseht First Nations (KCFN) chief Richard Leo passed away on Aug. 22.

The 79-year-old chief passed away “peacefully” in Vancouver, said the KCFN legislative vice chief Kevin Jules in a statement.

KCFN band offices in Houpsitas and Campbell River will remain closed on Tuesday, Aug.25, until after the funeral.

Leo served as Chief of the First Nations a number of times over the years. More recently, Richard was elected as Legislative Chief at age 78 in April 2019. A lifelong fisherman, logger and renowned politician, Leo served KCFN in many capacities over his lifetime.

He was instrumental in the process of leading the KFN out from under the Indian Act and into self-government through his determination and work in negotiating a Modern Treaty.

“KCFN has lost a tremendous leader, a man who demonstrated a love for the people of Kyuquot, Checleseht, his community and a commitment to enhancing the lives of others,” said Jules.

“He is well loved and going to be missed for his dedication and work.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family.

Although the office remains closed, essential services will be available on call and NTC counselling and counselling support will be made available.

ALSO IN NEWS: Ottawa giving $82.5M for Indigenous mental health support during COVID-19

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