(Fort St. John, BC) The BC Métis Federation is saddened to hear about the passing of another Métis friend and family member this past week in Fort St. John. Mr. Raymond (Ray) Harrold was a Métis person from Fort Nelson where many of his family members reside today. Ray was well known throughout British Columbia for his time involved as one of the leaders of the Métis Nation in the late 1990s and early part of 2000. Ray continued to support Métis recognition and was a well known entrepreneur.
A viewing for Ray will be held at the Fort Nelson Friendship Centre scheduled for friends and family this Wednesday, January 4th at 7:00 pm -10:30 pm. The memorial service will be Thursday, January 5th at 2:00 pm at the Fort Nelson Recreation Centre. The family has arranged a meal to be shared with friends following the service. The family is attempting to arrange a live online service but this has yet to be confirmed. The BC Métis Federation will be providing the online link once the final details have been arranged.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated; “I am so fortunate to have met Ray on several occasions. He was a proud Métis person and was a strong Métis business person. He mused to me on several occasions about his time involved as a leader in the Métis Nation, especially the challenges. He always made me feel that Métis progress was important to him and our Nation. I considered Ray my friend and I end with the comment that I thank you Ray for all you did to support our Nation and I will see you later.”
BC Métis Federation Cultural Ambassador Beverly Lambert stated; “To me the Métis people have lost a great warrior. If you wanted to make a difference in this world, I wish each of you could have walked a mile in Ray’s shoes. When Raymond Harrold had a dollar or smoke to spare, he would not hesitate to give it to you. He put people’s needs ahead of his own time and time again. I called him our Métis Robin Hood. He was a fighter in Métis politics. He wanted people to be proud of themselves and give us hope and faith for our future.”
Beverly Lambert added; “When he walked in a room, he would draw you in like a magnet, very easy to talk to and interested in learning about your stories. His home was always filled with youth who looked to him for guidance and support. They say elders and children can tell if your spirit is true because this is the time you are closest to death and birth. I witnessed how many elders and children absolutely adored him because of this true spirit. During his last few years I felt Raymond found the great spirit world to help him come to terms with his destiny. He fought hard to stay alive and made us grateful for every day and to appreciate one another. He once said to me “when my feet hit the floor in the morning, I am grateful for one more day on earth, so should you.”
Beverly further added; “When it came to his children and grandchildren; Garrett, Cole, Daniel, Brody, Alberta, Calem, and Sequoia, his love was unconditional. His mother (Sandra) and father (Bill), sisters Penny, Shelly, brother Rod, and many nieces, nephew all loved Ray dearly. Raymond Harrold loved everyone he met, and leaves many Métis friends (Pat- Zane), elders, children with a hole in their heart by his passing. This is the man who inspired and encouraged me to be proud of myself and teach my Métis culture to the children.”
Beverly concluded; “In the last 3 years I visited my special friend Ray several times and made him tea and bannock. His will to live was so strong despite the significant health issues he faced. His long time friend Gus was always by his side. We spent many hours talking about what is really important in life. He made me understand that the things like respect, a hug or kiss, and no power struggling are most important. My Ray of sunshine probably jigged all the way up there and is playing crib with Robert. I assume it is now15-2 for Ray. Till we meet again. God bless you Ray and thanks for the memories.”
Important Note – Raymond was on dialysis for many years and was determined to provide people in the North a better facility. Therefore people are encouraged to send donations to:
- Donations to the FSJ Hospital Foundation – Dialysis Clinic
- 9636 100th Ave, Fort St John, BC, V1J 1Y3
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2