Nunavut dad killed by polar bear among Canadians awarded bravery medals

A man from Arviat, Nunavut, has been awarded a posthumous Star of Courage for putting himself between a polar bear and his children in July 2018.

Aaron Gibbons was killed by a polar bear while defending his children

Arviat, Nunavut, in November 2018. Aaron Gibbons of Arviat has been awarded a posthumous Star of Courage for the defence of his children from a polar bear in 2018. (CBC)

A Nunavut man who was mauled to death while protecting his kids from a polar bear attack has been awarded a posthumous Star of Courage by Canada's governor general.

Aaron Gibbons of Arviat was killed in July 2018. He's among 30 Canadians awarded bravery decorations by Julie Payette on behalf of the Queen.

At the time of his death, RCMP said the 31-year-old Gibbons was on an island along the west coast of Hudson Bay and put himself between the bear and his children when the bear charged toward them.

Payette also awarded the Medal of Bravery to 29 people, according a statement published Saturday in the Canada Gazette.

Another 36 Canadians have been awarded meritorious service decorations, including one Canadian Armed Forces member whose identity is being kept secret for security and operational reasons.

Recipients, or their family members, are to receive the awards in a ceremony at a later date.