'Always thinking of others': Friends and colleagues remember former N.W.T. MLA Alfred Moses

·3 min read
Alfred Moses's official N.W.T. Legislative Assembly portrait in 2014. Friends learned of his death Tuesday.  (billbradenphoto/NWT Legislative Assembly - image credit)
Alfred Moses's official N.W.T. Legislative Assembly portrait in 2014. Friends learned of his death Tuesday. (billbradenphoto/NWT Legislative Assembly - image credit)

Friends and former colleagues are remembering Alfred Moses as a passionate community advocate, a leader, a lover of sports and a family man.

Moses served as the member of the Legislative Assembly representing Inuvik Boot Lake from 2011 to 2019. In his second term, he was a cabinet minister under Premier Bob McLeod.

Friends and colleagues learned of his death in Inuvik Tuesday. The cause of death is unclear; the territory's coroner's office said it is investigating.

Moses was born in Fort McPherson, N.W.T., in 1977 and spent much of his early life in Inuvik.

Prior to taking his seat in the N.W.T. Legislature, Moses served as a representative for the Inuvik Health Authority, as a wellness coordinator for Diavik Diamond Mines, a regional youth and volunteer officer for the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, and as a member of Inuvik's Town Council.

'Always thinking of others'

Ken Kyikavichik, Grand Chief of the Gwich'in Tribal Council, went to school with Moses in Inuvik. He learnt of Moses's passing in a phone call from a family member Tuesday afternoon.

He said he'd known Moses for as long as he can remember.

"He was always somebody that lit up a room whenever he was around," Kyikavichik said.

Submitted by Ken Kyikavichik
Submitted by Ken Kyikavichik

He last spoke with Moses just a week ago, when Moses called to extend condolences for the loss of a family member.

"This is somebody who was always thinking of others," Kyikavichik said.

"Just sharing his thoughts and checking in to make sure myself and my family were doing okay. Those types of calls from him were common."

Kyikavichik said Moses's enthusiasm in the areas of sport, health and wellness were clear from a young age.

He recalled Moses organizing baseball and hockey games and always acting as "a bit of a ringleader" when it came to getting a game started.

Still, Kyikavichik said that for Moses, family always came first.

'He was about making friendships'

Daryl Dolynny worked with Moses when the two were elected to the N.W.T. Legislature in 2011. He said the pair were part of a group of new MLAs dubbed "the fab five," and Dolynny continued a friendship with Moses through the years.

Dolyny recalled Moses as someone who spoke often about his parents, nieces and nephews, and who always rose above politics.

Robert Wilson/NWT Legislative Assembly
Robert Wilson/NWT Legislative Assembly

"He was about making friendships," Dolynny said. "He was about finding the best in people no matter who it was."

Dolynny and Moses worked together on passing the Mental Health Act — a law, passed in 2018, that regulates who can be admitted to the hospital. In collecting feedback for the Act, the pair travelled throughout the N.W.T.

Dolynny said that Moses was always encouraging community members to share their stories about mental health, even if that meant "very long nights."

"He had time for everyone," Dolynny said.

'All about serving the community'

Before his time in politics, Moses worked in health promotion.

That's where Yellowknifer Lona Hegeman met him.

She described Moses as a passionate advocate for prevention and awareness on health issues in the North and someone who would have done anything in his power to improve the territory.

"Alfred was all about serving the community," she said. "He did that with such love and he just radiated when he did it."

Hegeman said that Moses's passing is a loss for his family and friends but that he made everyone he met feel close to him.

"I have a feeling the North is in shock."

Moses's family has declined, for now, to speak about him and his life.

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