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Arviat father who sacrificed himself for his children earns posthumous bravery award

The Governor General has awarded the Star of Courage to the late Aaron Gibbons of Arviat.

Gibbons, 31, was killed by a polar bear on Sentry Island, approximately 10 km from Arviat, on July 3, 2018. He heroically placed himself between the bear and his three children, who had accompanied him on the outing. He didn't have a firearm with him at the time. His children were rescued.

The Star of Courage "recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril," according to the Office of the Governor General. The medal features a silver star with four points. A gold maple leaf in the centre is inscribed with the word "courage."

Gibbons was among 30 Canadians to receive a bravery distinction in an announcement made in the Canada Gazette, issued on Jan. 4.

An award ceremony where Gibbons' family will be eligible to receive his award on his behalf will be held at a later date.