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BCAFN Mourns Passing of Respected First Nations Leader Mel Bevan

Press Release

October 16, 2023

(Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC) — The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is deeply saddened by the passing of the revered and highly respected First Nations leader Mel Bevan (Sm’ooygeet Satsan). Throughout his extensive career, he
demonstrated unwavering dedication to his community, Kitselas, and Tsimshian Nation, contributing as a politician, treaty negotiator, manager, consultant, financial advisor, educator and knowledge keeper for many decades.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of traditional leader Mel Bevan and send profound condolences to his family, friends and community,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “He had a tremendous impact on Canada’s journey towards reconciliation and helped to significantly advance the recognition of First Nations title and rights. Mel Bevan’s strength and tireless efforts established a solid foundation for future leaders to continue the invaluable and necessary work for First Nations in northern BC and beyond.”

Mel Bevan fought against an archaic colonial system that continues to be deeply entrenched in Canadian public policy. His recently published book, Silent Voices: Rule by Policy on Canada’s Indian Reserves, is an important testament that reveals his vast experience and knowledge on important Indigenous issues.

Sadly, Mel Bevan passed away on October 10, 2023, after battling brain cancer. His legacy will forever be remembered and cherished.

The family has tentatively planned a memorial service on Monday, October 16, 2023, at 6 PM and a funeral service on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 1 PM, at the Kitsumkalum Community Hall, Terrace, BC, followed by a Kitselas feast at 5 PM.


Media contact: Annette Schroeter, BCAFN Communications Officer, (778)281-1655.


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