Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)

Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Vuntut Gwitchin Elder and former Yukon MLA Darius Elias has died.

Premier Sandy Silver, opposition leaders and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm all released statements remembering the leader.

“Darius had the heart of a giant, it had to be so, to fit all our lands and people in it. We are lucky to have had such a strong advocate that saw our future so clearly, but always brought it back and supported our youth and left no one behind,” Tizya-Tramm said.

Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17, just days before the mobile clinic was set to return to his home community of Old Crow to administer second shots of the Moderna vaccine. After a conversation with the First Nation, the clinic went ahead.

Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost opened the clinic with a prayer, noting that Elias would have wanted the clinic to continue to protect the community.

Elias is remembered as a gifted orator, proud father, dedicated hockey fan and a politician who represented his community of Old Crow locally and defended the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge internationally.

In his youth, Elias represented Canada in New York City at the United Nations Summit. He went on to study renewable resources management and eventually became a park warden at Vuntut National Park.

Elias was first elected as an MLA in 2006, under the Liberal party banner. He became interim leader of the Liberal Party in 2011, following the defeat of the previous leader in the 2011 election.

Months later Elias resigned from the party to sit as an independent MLA, before eventually crossing the floor to the Yukon Party. He remained as an MLA until he was narrowly defeated in the 2016 election by Frost.

Elias was serving as deputy chief of VGFN until he retired on June 12, 2020.

Yukon political leaders who had worked with Elias, including Silver, Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon and NDP leader Kate White also released statements remembering his legacy.

“In my first year as MLA for Klondike, no one reached out to mentor or guide me more than Darius. I will always cherish his genuine concern and sound advice. In the Legislative Assembly, Darius was knowledgeable and passionate. When needed, he could be fierce when speaking for his community,” Silver said.

“Darius was extremely proud of his children and the rest of his family. My heart goes out to them,” he said.

“Darius’ love of his children, the outdoors and hockey was infectious. I will miss our lively debates about hockey and will fondly remember him always sporting his Philadelphia Flyers ball cap around the office and at various community events. On behalf of the entire Yukon Party family, I would like to give our sincere condolences to his children, family, friends, and the community of Old Crow,” added Dixon.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

The Fireweed Market in Shipyards Park will open on May 13. Joel Krahn/Yukon News
Whitehorse’s Fireweed Market opens May 13

The Fireweed Market will return with ‘exciting’ new and returning vendors

Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Protest held to condemn Yukon Party MLAs’ texts

A rally was held outside of legislature to condemn the inappropriate texts messages of Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 12, 2021.… Continue reading

Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley announced youth vaccination clinics planned for this summer. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon government file)
Vaccination campaign planned for Yukon youth age 12 and up

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for younger people on May 5.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced two new cases of COVID-19 on May 11. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Two new cases of COVID-19 reported, one in the Yukon and one Outside

One person is self-isolating, the other will remain Outside until non-infectious

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Haley Ritchie/Yukon News file
File photo of the legislative assembly. The previous spring sitting began on March 4 but was interrupted due to the election.
Throne speech kicks off short spring legislature sitting

The government will now need to pass the budget.

The deceased man, found in Lake LaBerge in 2016, had on three layers of clothing, Dakato work boots, and had a sheathed knife on his belt. Photo courtesy Yukon RCMP
RCMP, Coroner’s Office seek public assistance in identifying a deceased man

The Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit and the Yukon Coroner’s Office are looking for public help to identify a man who was found dead in Lake LaBerge in May 2016.

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite has created a mess left to taxpayers to clean up, Lewis Rifkind argues. This file shot shows the mine in 2009. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)
Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite

Lewis Rifkind Special to the News The price of a decent wolverine… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: border opening and Yukon Party texts

Dear Premier Sandy Silver and Dr Hanley, Once again I’m disheartened and… Continue reading

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Most Read