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Memorable Manitobans: Leonard George “Len” Flett (1942-2020)

Businessman.

Born at Shamattawa in 1942, the second eldest of 14 children of Abigail Beardy and Horace Flett, he was a member of the Big Trout Lake First Nation in Ontario. He lived at several communities during his childhood before settling at Cumberland House, Saskatchewan. After graduating from The Pas Collegiate in 1961, he worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company and later as Vice-President of the North West Company (1985-2005). He led the latter company’s expansion into new retail markets and joint ventures with First Nations communities. In recognition of his service, he was inducted into the Order of Canada (2005) and Order of Manitoba (2012), and he received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (2002) and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). He retired in 2005 after 42 years of service. In retirement he wrote the memoir From the Barren Lands: Fur Trade, First Nations, and a Life in Northern Canada (2015). He died as a result of prolonged illness in September 2020.

Sources:

Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute, Graduates 1935-2018.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 September 2020.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 September 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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