Fred Sangris was born in the Yellowknife Bay area to parents Morris (Tia Chee) and Theresa Sangris Nee’ Black and grandfather, David (olter’caulther) Kamelli Sangris – grandson of the famous 1860 chief of the Coppermine River, Nayatii. Fred is a part of the long-standing leadership from the Kemili/Sangris family lineage and is a direct descendant of Chief Nayatii of the Copper Mine River and the edge of the wood Yellowknives Dene.
While growing up, Fred had to endure the residential school system for many years. Although this was a very bad period in his life, Fred acknowledges the skills he learned such as reading and writing in the English language. In the early 1970’s, having left residential school, he returned to the land with his family for many years. During his time on the land, he was taught the travel routes, place names, burial sites, and family names for many, many areas. The YKDFN Elders taught Fred the history and leadership he relies on today.
Fred is a well-known and experienced hunter and trapper, Fred has been trapped for a considerable amount of time on some of the most difficult land terrains, including trapping on the barren lands north of Yellowknife. He used to spend up to five months of the year in the barren lands trapping white fox just south of Lac de Gras where the diamond mines are today.
In the late 1990s, Fred was elected Chief for our Community of Ndilo and again in 2006 until 2010. In 2015, Fred became the Community Negotiator, negotiating the Akaitcho Land Claim on behalf of the Community. Fred was recently re-elected as Chief in 2021 with a focus on settling long and outstanding land settlements for governance, lands, and resources. Fred has extensive experience in leadership, politics, and the priorities of our community and frequently demonstrates this knowledge as our Chief.
While Fred is very busy with his duties as Chief, he still enjoys giving lessons on history, treaties, and land use as well as the Dene way of life. He is an advocate for passing on knowledge, especially to the next generation. Fred also continues to spend time on the land, setting nets, trapping, and hunting.