Coast Salish Traditional Territory/Vancouver: The First Nations Leadership Council is very saddened to hear of the passing of Micah Messent in yesterday’s Ethiopian Airlines disaster, that resulted in the 157 deaths, including 18 Canadians.
Micah, an Indigenous youth, was a member of the Red River Métis Nation in Manitoba, was raised as the youngest of five siblings in the Comox Valley.
Micah was a well-liked member of the Year 11 (2017-18) intake of youth in the Indigenous Youth Internship Program (IYIP) – formerly the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program (AYIP), which each year provides a 12-month internship for up to 25 young Indigenous British Columbians, ages 19 to 29. Micah served his IYIP placement with the BC Parks branch of the Ministry of Environment.
Micah’s placement with BC Parks provided him the opportunity to not only utilize his formal education, but also to exchange traditional teachings and life experiences with others. The placement led to a full-time position in government with the BC Parks Indigenous Relations team that focuses on enhancing reconciliation within the agency and the broader Natural Resource Sector.
Micah, an avid sailor, was a graduate of the Indigenous Studies program at the University of Victoria and had plans to return to school in the future to pursue a law degree.
The FNLC sends deepest condolences to the family, friends and community of Micah Messent during this sad time. As well, we are sending our thoughts to the Indigenous youth interns who worked along side Micah.