The Lake Babine Nation (LBN) community along with the rest of the community said good bye to a important person who was part of their history, Joe Michell, ’Nay Dee T’en’.
Joe was born July 28, 1942 and passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 18, 2013. He has left a rich legacy of family and friends in the Burns Lake area.
Born in Burns Lake, Joe grew up in Pendleton Bay, where he went to public school before studying Finance, Public Administration, and First Nations law. At 23, he moved to Ottawa where he worked for Indian Affairs as a manager of the arts and crafts division, a position which involved him in several different programs, including program development at the Ontario Science Centre, and consultation during the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics.
He also served as an advisor for the development of Indian Social Services in Ontario, established a Minerals Office in Saskatchewan and helped develop training plans for senior Indian Affairs supervisors.
In 1980 he returned to B.C. to help with the development of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, where he eventually worked as managing director and later served as Tribal Chief of the 14 member band tribal council.
He was requested to return to his Lake Babine Nation home and served in many management roles. His final position with LBN was as chief treaty negotiator.
Under his guidance as chief treaty negotiator, LBN developed the Barricade Treaty, several specific claims were advanced, and a field study program was developed with the University of Northern B.C. He was to retire soon as he always wanted to leave with dignity, respect and honour and he has been recognized for all of what he brought to the Lake Babine Nation.
“We thank Joe’s family for sharing him with our Nation and other First Nations over a 40 year period,” said LBN Chief Wilf Adam. “Joe was a great friend to all and will be greatly missed.”