Isadore Tsetta, former chief of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, has passed away at age 93.

Chief of Ndilo Ernest Betsina says he’s known Tsetta his whole life, spending time in the bush and hunting with Tsetta and his family at a young age.

“We’re certainly thinking about the family, our condolences are with them. The community is getting together and helping the family out, they’re not alone. The community spirit is there, just like with Isadore, his spirit is there.”

Tsetta was YKDFN chief from 1979 to 1987. He was also a member of the Yellowknives Dene Elders’ Senate. Tsetta was a key advisor for Betsina and chief of Dettah Edward Sangris on difficult issues the First Nation was facing.

“He was certainly one of the instrumental elders that gave us advice, he will certainly be missed by us chiefs because we lost a good advisor.”

During negotiations, Tsetta advised YKDFN leaders to always stick with their treaty. “Never veer away from our treaty, so that’s why still today we are still sticking to our treaty,” he says.

“The previous chiefs before us, they all stuck to the treaties. And they had advice from their elders at that time.”

Tsetta was born October 24th, 1925 and passed away Sunday, March 17th, according to a funeral announcement by McKenna Funeral Home.

A service will be held Thursday, March 21st at St. Patrick’s Church at 1 p.m., followed by burial at Lakeview Cemetery. Condolences can be sent to the family through messages@mckennafuneral.com.