The family of the Courtenay man who died in the devastating plane crash in Ethiopia is hoping to keep his memory alive through a fundraiser that will help the environment and Indigenous youth.
Michah Messent, 23, died on March 10 when an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner went down on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. Seventeen other Canadians also died in the crash.
Messent was a young Métis environmentalist from Courtenay and was on his way to meet other young leaders for the United Nations Environment Assembly, held this week in Kenya. He was chosen to go as a Canadian representative.
He posted about his trip on Instagram a day before the crash.
View this post on Instagram
Pretty stoked to announce that I’ve been selected by @unacanada as a member of their delegation for the 4th @unitednations Assembly of the Environment! Im headed to Kenya TOMORROW where I’ll have the chance to meet with other passionate youth and leaders from around the world and explore how we can tackle the biggest challenges that are facing our generation. Im so grateful for this opportunity and want to thank all of the people in my life who have helped me get this far. Wish me luck! ?? ✈️ ?? —————————————— #surprise @unenvironment @canadaservicecorps @canada @oceanwise @leaderstoday
Messent went to work for B.C. Parks in 2018 as an Indigenous Relations Analyst after graduating with his Indigenous Studies degree from Vancouver Island University.
Late Monday, Premier John Horgan paid tribute to the BC Parks employee and recent Indigenous youth intern.
“Micah was committed to tackling the challenges he saw around him in the world, both in his work to protect the environment and to advance reconciliation,” Horgan said in statement.
“On behalf of all British Columbians, we offer our thoughts and our prayers to his family and friends.”
On Tuesday, the family started the Micah Messent Memorial Fund on GoFundMe. While it is only the beginning of the fundraiser, the family plans to disperse the donations to different areas that Messent was passionate about, including Indigenous education and environmental programs in the province.
“His life was a blessing, and his journey ended too soon. May Micah’s memory live on in both our hearts and our actions,” the Messent family wrote on GoFundMe.
You can donate to the GoFundMe here. The fundraiser has a $1 million goal.