A respected Metis elder and former speaker of the N.W.T. Assembly has died.

Pete Fraser was 79.

The former M.L.A. died yesterday at Stanton Regional Hospital from prostate cancer.

Fraser was born in Fort Chipewyan and went to school at the Anglican mission in Hay River.

He was the M.L.A. for the Sahtu from 1976 to 1983.

His son Roger says Fraser's job as a highways inspector took him to communities across the Western Arctic.

Fraser says his father made friends everywhere he went.

And he loved a good story.

"One story he liked to tell was when the Pope came to Fort Simpson," says Roger. "He said somebody in the crowd was looking up, and Dad was talking to the Pope, and he said, 'Who's that guy with the funny hat on talking to Pete Fraser?'"

Pete Fraser is survived by his wife, Ellen, and their ten children.