It is with great sadness that we, the Alec Family, announce the passing of our beloved father, grandfather, respected elder, Hereditary Chief, and Church Chief, Dennis Alec, Tsee’ K’ot, at the age of 88 years.
Our father and grandfather passed away on the morning of February 17, 2008 at the Burns Lake & District Hospital. The funeral was held on Saturday, February 23, 2008 with family, friends, relatives and all those who knew grandpa from Prince George, Takla, Moricetown, Smithers in attendance.
“Dennis Alec, was born in Old Fort, BC on December 24, 1919, and was raised in a structured and traditional life. Dennis was a linguist with the ability to speak in all four Carrier dialects, and exemplified the teachings that have been handed down for generations. In turn, Dennis taught his family and people good conduct and above all love and respect.
Dennis married Sarah (nee Donald) in Old Fort and brought children to the world, now reuniting with his wife Sarah, parents, daughters, sons and brothers that predeceased him. Dennis is survived by daughters Esther Macdonald (Frank), Marie Patrick, sons Ronnie Alec (Ruby), Paul Alec, and Gary Alec (Sharon), and 42 grandchildren, and 67 great grandchildren, and also leaves behind his last remaining sibling, Dan Matthew.
A family man that he was, Dennis worked at sawmills and was a trapper back in the day as it provided him with necessary resources to care for his family. He also hunted and taught many young men of the day the traditional skills of hunting and trapping, living off the land was important to him.
Dennis was also an avid sportsman, he played baseball and hockey with his buddies in Old Fort and Fort Babine. Sports were an important factor for him as it brought the community together. He was always seen at our ball and hockey tournaments in Burns Lake and in many neighboring nations, cheering on his team.
Dennis, a man of prayer at a young age aided his anointment by Bishop O’Grady to become the Church Chief. He was able to perform station of the cross services during lent, speak at funerals, weddings and baptisms were some of Dennis’ spiritual commitments. His connection to God and the Spirit world came natural to him.
He was indoctrinated into our Bah’lats government as Hereditary Chief in 1967. His stature of strength, wisdom, knowledge, respect and love defined his character. He was the clan leader, head elder for the community and carried himself with respect and dignity, and he always provided words of comfort, and wisdom, he was our advisor, protector and counselor. He was our master singer and drummer.
Being an elected councilor in the 1970’s, he worked tirelessly to ensure that his people and community remained united and strong. He believed that all living beings are inter-connected and that we are one with nature. Respecting nature meant that you respected yourself, that you used nature and all its bounty to live a good healthy and abundant life.
His passion for our traditional lifestyle was never compromised; he talked about the importance of ensuring that we stay true and connected to our land, and reminded us that the land is our lifeline, to protect it for future generations being his message. He instilled the belief to never stop protecting the land as it provides us with identity and belonging.
He relied on the principles of the Bah’lats to conduct himself and gained much respect among his peers. He was relentless in ensuring that children understood their culture and language. He also was called upon by the UNBC to teach students the way of the Babine and Carrier people. His knowledge about our history was amazing. Without a doubt, he was the professor of who we are and where we come from.
Dennis also traveled, with a most memorable performance in Russia at the Goodwill Games when Lake Babine Nation sent our Hereditary Chiefs to perform for the Russian people, and the world at large. He also traveled to many events in the USA, BC and across Canada.”
‘The loss of a loved one is always painful, but as he told us many times that, it is the will of the Creator, one never knows the day and time the Creator will call. Prepare ourselves as one day the Creator will give us all peace and happiness – these are the words of our ICON, Tsee’ K’ot, Mr. Dennis Alec, the great spirit will give him eternal life so he can watch over us while we complete our journey.’
We wish to thank Mr. Warner Adam for delivering a most thoughtful tribute to our father and grandfather, and thank you to grandpa’s family the Gilanten Clan, the C’it im den Clan, CSFS, to the hospital staff, Dr. Smit, to the Lake Babine Nation Chief and Council and staff, and to everyone who came to support the family, and to pay their respects at the funeral and the bah’lats.
Mesiy Cho’ from the Alec Family.