Dane Gibson, northern radio personality, dies at 49

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Dane Gibson, northern radio personality, dies at 49

Award-winning radio journalist and staple of N.W.T. media, Dane Gibson, has died.

Gibson was born in 1969 in Calgary. He later moved to Yellowknife where he got a job with Northern News Services.

He spent a decade working in Yellowknife media, bringing Indigenous voices to the airwaves. He created the program Ends of the Earth on CKLB radio. 

He also created monthly newspapers and radio programs for First Nations communities, and eventually led the Native Communications Society of the Northwest Territories.

He left Yellowknife in 2011, moving to Gabriola Island in British Columbia with his wife and son.

Gibson survived Hodgkin's lymphoma as a teenager, as well as a bout of renal cancer in 2012. The renal cancer returned in 2017 and metastasized. He died on July 15, in Nanaimo, B.C.

'A really warm feeling'

William Greenland, friend and former colleague of Gibson, first met Dane when he joined the CKLB team as a freelance reporter.

Greenland fondly remembered Gibson, focusing on his warm personality and light-heartedness. Working with Gibson created "a really warm feeling," as he was "comfortable [and] easy to get along with."

Gibson's humility and fondness for people stood out in all of Greenland's stories.

"He wanted to see our people thrive, and he would attend the Dene assemblies," said Greenland.

"He'd be getting coffee and tea for people and strangers — whoever. I said, 'I thought you were going to the bathroom?' He said, 'Yeah, but I ended up getting tea for everybody!'"

"That's just the way Dane is."

The Gibson family is currently planning a celebration of life ceremony, though details have not yet been released.

"He's going to be greatly missed — that's why we call him the Great Dane," said Greenland.