Northern priest remembered

A long-time Anglican priest in the territory is being remembered as a man of faith who had a deep love for the North and its people. Ken Snider died Tuesday in his home in Dawson City. He was 80.

A long-time Anglican priest in the territory is being remembered as a man of faith who had a deep love for the North and its people.

Ken Snider died Tuesday in his home in Dawson City. He was 80.

Snider ministered across the North for decades. He worked in communities including Cambridge Bay, Hay River, Clinton Creek, Whitehorse, Inuvik, Elsa, Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Carmacks, Keno, Stewart Crossing and Dawson City.

“I have never known a Dawson without Ken Snider,” Mayor Wayne Potoroka said.

“He was an incredibly thoughtful and friendly individual. He was a faithful servant to his church and his community.”

Snider was born on a farm near Toronto in 1933. He was the youngest of three children.

Bishop Larry Robertson said he always felt inspired by the work his friend of 30 years did in the community.

“He loved people so much, he wanted them to be strong. He wanted to share God’s love,” he said.

Robertson said Snider was always there to support people but never looked for the limelight himself. “He wanted others to shine.”

About 10 years ago – after he had retired – Snider found out about a group of eight or 10 people from Fort McPherson who wanted to come up to Whitehorse for Bible study and a leadership conference.

Using mostly his own money, he rented a 15-person van and drove them himself.

“On the way they got three flats,” Robertson remembered.

When asked why he would spend more than $1,000 of his own money, Snider replied: “That’s just what you do. They needed a ride,” Robertson said.

Trond’ek Hwech’in Chief Eddie Taylor was one of many people who connected with the priest.

“He was our hockey coach, he used to always take us over to Clinton Creek, when Clinton Creek was a community,” Taylor said. “On the weekends we’d head over and it didn’t matter what the weather was on The Top of the World, he’d get us all home safely.”

“Hockey was definitely the way he would engage with youth in our community,” the chief said.

Canada’s favourite winter sport appears to have been part of Snider from a very early age.

In a eulogy prepared for the upcoming funeral, his family talks about their dad as a boy.

“As a child, Dad played hockey with his friends, using Sears catalogues as shin pads because his family couldn’t afford to buy him proper equipment,” his daughter Grace writes.

The hockey team in Dawson was Snider’s idea, his family says. He coached the group of boys, spending long hours at the community’s unheated rink and driving the team to tournaments in other communities.

Taylor said the First Nation always had respect for the church’s leader.

“The First Nation community had nothing but respect for Rev. Ken Snider. He has shown nothing but care and compassion to our people.”

While in Dawson, Snider began the St. Paul’s Restoration Fund to restore the more than 100-year-old church structure. He also secured funding to purchase and restore Bishop Stringer’s Residence.

As an adult Snider raised six children, mostly in the North alongside his wife Aldene.

Funeral services for Snider will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church in Dawson City followed by a feast at the Trond’ek Hwech’in Community Hall.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read