Fort Simpson chief Minnie Letcher dies of meningitis

Minnie Letcher, chief of the Liidlii Kue First Nation in Fort Simpson, died Thursday in Edmonton after being medevaced from the community late last week.

Minnie Letcher, chief of the Liidlii Kue First Nation in Fort Simpson, N.W.T., died Thursday in Edmonton after being medevaced from the community late last week.

Minnie Letcher, chief of the Liidlii Kue First Nation in Fort Simpson, died Thursday in Edmonton after being medevaced from the village late last week.
Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief Herb Norwegian says she had meningitis. He says her condition worsened Wednesday. She died Thursday afternoon.

Norwegian says Letcher was taken into the operating room as soon as she got to Edmonton.

"They tried to deal with the situation and when it was done, the situation hadn't improved." 

Letcher wasn't alone during her ordeal. 

"Members of the family that were all across the country had come in to be by her side — and of course the family from Fort Simpson had also travelled over there — so they were right by her side right throughout her ordeal."

Letcher was elected chief in a by-election in April 2013. She had never been a chief or band councillor before, but Norwegian says she was well respected because of her approach to the position.

He says she wanted to be the "people's chief," making sure to connect with those who live in Fort Simpson.

Before becoming chief, Letcher was the director of community programs and services for Dehcho Health and Social Services.

Norwegian grew up next door to Letcher and says her death is like losing a sister.