YELLOWKNIFE (June 10, 2016) – Premier Bob McLeod issued the following statement on the induction of Gwich’in pilot and Northern aviation pioneer Fred Carmichael into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame today:
“Fred Carmichael exemplifies the hard work and resiliency Northerners are known for. For more than six decades, Carmichael has spent his time in the cockpit of bush planes, moving residents and goods in and out of many of our remote Northern communities.
A true pioneer of Northern aviation, he bought his first plane within a year of earning his pilot’s license and flew it North with only a map and compass. Fred progressed from one aviation era to another and in 1960 created his own charter airline service, Reindeer Air and successor company, Antler Aviation. Along this journey, Mr. Carmichael served as a mentor and employer to many Northerners. He encouraged the people he grew up with to become partners in northern aviation and strongly believed in creating employment opportunities for fellow northerners. His company would not be possible without the assistance, dedication and support from his home community in the Northwest Territories.
Fred Carmichael is a successful advocate for all Aboriginal people of the North on how to become more self-sufficient and create a better way of life. Mr. Carmichael has encouraged young people to persevere through difficulties, as he had to do, in order to follow and achieve their dreams. He has demonstrated diligence and commitment to his passion for flight and the pursuit of Aboriginal social and economic sustainability. His desire to help the people of the North and inspire young entrepreneurs has been one of his greatest motivating factors.
His selfless efforts to provide on-the-job training and education are an example of Mr. Carmichael’s dedication to the Northwest Territories and our people.
I want to congratulate Mr. Carmichael on his induction into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame.”