May 18, 1995 – March 10, 2019
Our beloved Micah died tragically March 10, 2019 in a plane crash, flight number ET302 in Ethiopia, Africa. All 157 people aboard were killed in the crash. Micah was travelling to Nairobi, Kenya to take part in the 4th United Nations Assembly of the Environment. It was to be another exciting adventure for him, just like so many other adventures that he had welcomed in his short life.
Micah was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox and lived his entire young life in Courtenay. He was educated at Aboriginal Headstart, Ecole Puntledge Park School, Lake Trail Middle School and graduated from G.P. Vanier High School in 2013. Bursaries, grants and scholarships enabled Micah to attend Vancouver Island University where he graduated with a B.A. in Indigenous Studies. It was at V.I.U. that he met the love of his life, Kidston Short. They were planning to start their life together in Victoria when Micah returned from Kenya.
Upon his graduation from university Micah was honoured to have the opportunity to begin an internship with BC Parks. His first year with them as an Indigenous Relations Analyst gave him the opportunity to travel to many regions of British Columbia. The people he met along the way became fast friends with him; he even met some who had known his grandfather Frank Camp, who had a life long career in the National Parks of Canada. He was so happy to be known as Frank Camp’s grandson. Micah was proud of his Metis heritage from his grandfather Frank and honoured to wear his grandpa’s beaded buckskin coat at aboriginal events. He was always willing to share his indigenous knowledge and encourage others to be proud of their heritage.
Another opportunity came his way when he was one of 40 young people who travelled to Haida Gwaii with the Ocean Bridge program last year. It gave Micah a chance to connect with the ocean environment that he had loved all his life, the friendships he forged were strong and lasting. As a young child Micah spent many holidays at his grandparents in Ucluelet with days at the beach exploring the marine environment and unlimited access to the wild west coast. As he grew older he and his friends would spend time in Ucluelet at Grandma’s house too. Teenage summer camps were spent sailing to the remote inlets of mainland coastal BC, appreciating the wilderness in all its beauty.
Every experience Micah had in his short life eventually led to the amazing opportunity to be part of a UN Delegation to Kenya earlier this month. He was so excited to be chosen to go. His final Facebook post thanked all the people who had supported him and helped him get to where he was in his life. “Wish me luck!” he said.
Micah would be the first to say embrace all the wonderful opportunities that life offers, even though the outcome might not be as you planned. His journey to Kenya could have just as easily ended brilliantly. It was fate that took him away from us.
He lived the philosophy of kindness and love, passion and humour, and his actions and influence live on in each of us whose life he touched. The outpouring of remembrances and condolences from his families, friends, co-workers and acquaintances attest to that.
Micah loved making music and singing. He was a self taught guitar player and had a beautiful ukulele which he carried and played everywhere. Micah was a resident advisor in 2nd year at the VIU dorms and the students who were there with him have remarked on how his cheerful strumming and whistling in the hallways is a vivid memory they have of him. He took them under his care and made sure that they knew he was there for them to help them get through what can be a confusing and lonely first time away from home.
Left to mourn his passing are his mother Suzanne Camp of Courtenay, his sister Jade, husband Wes and niece Olivia Ballard; his sister Amber, husband Walter, niece Scotia and nephews Ethan and Ryker Tansky; his brother Matt Messent with Nancy MacPherson and baby nephew Calder; his brother Jasper Messent with Brianna Savery and his father John Messent and Gale Belansky of Cortes Island.
Micah is also survived by his grandmother Edna Camp, many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, life long friends and acquaintances from across Canada. He was predeceased by grandfather Frank Camp of Ucluelet, grandparents Agnes and William Messent of Oshawa, Ontario, Uncle Terry Messent of Windsor, Ontario and Great Aunt Margaret Davey, Ontario.
Thank you to all who donated funds to the Micah Messent Memorial Fund which will be used to support Indigenous Education in the form of scholarships and bursaries as well as environmental causes that Micah was so passionate about.
“His bright light has gone out in our lives, but we will never forget him.”
There will be a celebration of Micah’s life on May 18, 2019, what would have been his 24th birthday. It will be here in Courtenay and as soon as plans are finalized we will send out that information.
Some experiences and education which shaped and influenced Micah’s path in life:
Vancouver Island University: https://www.viu.ca/programs/arts-humanities-social-sciences/first-nations-studies
Indigenous Youth Internship Program:
One of Micah’s most recent projects: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/employment/student-ranger/
The Ocean Bridge team: https://www.aquablog.ca/2018/04/26198/?browser=i