Gwich'in elder Edith Josie, who wrote a column about life in the northern Yukon community of Old Crow, died of natural causes at her home Sunday morning. She was 88.
Josie's column, Here Are The News, appeared for 40 years in the Whitehorse Star and was also syndicated to newspapers in Toronto and Edmonton.
"She wanted to let the outside world know what the community was all about, what people were doing in the community, about our way of life," her daughter, Jane Montgomery, told CBC News on Monday.
"It was important to her to let the outside world know because we are a fly-in community, so she put Old Crow on the map."
In an interview in the 1980s, Josie told CBC News, "I like to write more about people what are doing, like [what it] used to be."
'The way she spoke'
Whitehorse Star publisher Jackie Pierce said Josie's column was already world famous when she took over the newspaper in the early 70's.
"When her column would come in we would give it to the newest typist and she would try and correct it," Pierce said.
"And we would give it back to her and say, 'You have to type it just the way it is.' That's what made it the column it is, just the way she spoke."
Pierce said it had been a few years since Josie submitted her last report.
"She didn't say it was her last, though, because they had been getting a little more infrequent. We just got 'em when we got 'em and were happy to get them."
Montgomery said her mother would get calls from people from all over the world about her columns, which were translated into German, Italian, Spanish and Finnish. They were also collected into the book, Here Are The News, named for the column.
Josie was born in Eagle, Alaska, and lived there until her family moved to Old Crow when she was 16.
She received many awards, including the Canadian Centennial Award in 1967 and the Order of Canada in 1995.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday at St. Luke's Church in Old Crow.