BC Métis Federation Mourns Loss of Board Member and Friend Ken Fisher

Surrey, BC – BC Métis Federation leadership is sad to advise and inform members and partners that one of our board members Mr. Ken Fisher passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this weekend. Ken was a very active Métis leader having served many terms as President for the Nova Métis Heritage Association as well as elected to the BC Métis Federation in 2016 and was the founding members of the BC Métis Federation.

Ken was first chosen as President of Louis Riel Métis Association in 1984 and held that position till 1993. Ken was involved with organizing Métis in greater Vancouver. He was directly involved and incorporated and worked with Métis local societies such as the Louis Riel Métis Association, Vancouver Métis Association founding member (1995 VMA), support for North Fraser Métis Association, and served as chair of the Regional Métis Management Steering Committee.

Ken supported the United Heritage Métis Association which formed in the 1990s as Manager and Councilor until this organization ceased operations in 2002 in Surrey. In 2003 Ken was instrumental in establishing the Nova Métis Heritage Association in Surrey as the founding President Nova Métis Heritage Association (Nova). Ken and he wife established an office in Surrey from 2003 to 2016. Today Nova has over two thousand (2000) registered members.

In addition to supporting Métis community organization Ken producer and hosted the “Métis Matters” radio show on CFRO 100.5 FM for more than 20 years. Ken served various other roles such as four (4) years as Elder on Metro Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy (MVUAS) Steering Committee. Most recently Ken was appointed to the City of Surrey’s “Diversity Committee”.

Ken was awarded the “Order of the Sash” in 2006 for his decades of service to the Métis in BC. He was also the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 as a Navy Veteran and Community Volunteer.

Ken was a proud Métis born in Lebret, Saskatchewan where he attached school there as well as Regina and Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Ken was a qualified as a licensed TV Tech and Appliance Repairman. Via Western Radio/Electronic TV School Saskatoon. Opened business and later sold out to a partner & moved on to Toronto & London.

One of Ken’s passions was photography. Ken took photography courses via Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary. Ken operated a photography studio for years in Surrey. Ken was a self-employed business man as he worked as photographer and operated Fisher Photo Studio in Surrey for years. Ken held media press credentials as a sports and news photographer for many years in Calgary, Surrey and Metro Vancouver with BC Lions and Vancouver Canucks.

BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated, “This weekend we lost a tremendous friend and proud Métis supporter. His commitments to the Métis community for decades are significant. He dedicated years of sacrifice and service as a community leader and worked hard to be a provincial leader. The void by his passing will be impossible to fill. For many of us Ken passing seems surreal as we will never be able to hear his opinions and voice each week on the Métis Matters Radio Show or attend community meetings in Surrey to listen to his passion.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry added, “Ken’s contributions will never be forgotten. He was tough and straight forward. You always knew where you stood and he was strong in his convictions. But once you got past this tough demeanor, there was a kind man. A man who would always assist is he could. The fact was Ken was a person who demanded social justice for the Métis and all he wanted was respect. Ken himself faced many difficult personal issues growing up in Saskatchewan and in spite of his situation he remained proud to be Métis and proud to fight for our Métis recognition in BC and Canada.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry added; “Our board will deeply grieve this loss and this comes shortly after the tragic loss of his loving wife Joyce only months ago. In many ways we saw that the loss of Ken’s wife was simply too much for our dear friend.”

BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “today lets all remember Ken for the stories of events and statements he made over the years. So many great memories and we all know this is a great loss. Ken, you will be forever remembered as our friend and family. Thank you for all you did for our people. We will see you again one day my friend. Words cannot express the deep sense of I loss I feel at this moment. But I know you would want us to carry on.”

BC Métis Federation is working with the family to arrange celebration of life in January. Watch for details.

Media Inquiries

Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office: 1-604-638-7220
Cell: 1-778-388-5013
Email: k.henry@bcmetis.com

You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on Twitter @keithhenryMetis

Click here to download the press release in PDF format.

18 Responses to BC Métis Federation Mourns Loss of Board Member and Friend Ken Fisher

  1. Mechtild Morin December 10, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    Very sad that Ken and Joyce are not among us any longer. What a loss!
    I met both of them 12 years ago, when they visited Lebret after having attended the Back to Batoche celebration.
    We’ve been in touch ever since.
    They were deeply dedicated to the Metis cause for many years and will be greatly missed by many people.

    Rest in peace and joy!

  2. Sharon Eyford December 10, 2017 at 11:55 am #

    Thanks BC Metis Fed, this is a very well put together letter about what Ken Fisher has done for the Metis, of Surrey and Vancouver.

    Ken will be sorely missed, but he is much happier now that he has rejoined with his wonderful wife Joyce.

    They will be missed by a lot of people, but will remain in our thoughts, keeping his memories and and in our hearts.

    Metis Elder

  3. Betty Fisher December 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    I am saddened that we have lost such a wonderful man, he is now with his beloved Joyce. Ken was deeply effected by the loss of Joyce, she was the love of his life. He contributed so much to the Metis in BC and will be greatly missed. We will miss our visits with them both.
    Your work here is done now Ken, may you rest in Eternal Peace with Joyce .

  4. Earlene Bitterman December 10, 2017 at 1:03 pm #

    We will miss his wit and humour, we have lost a dear friend. I’m going to miss his weekly phone calls to ensure we not frozen in the north. He was a fighter for Metis rights, there will be a great void in the Metis world.

    Rest in Peace Ken 🙁

    Memorial Video for Ken: vimeo.com/246698642

    Earlene

  5. Keith Henry December 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    Friends,

    I cannot express how sad I am in words with the loss of my friend Ken. Ken became family to me and I felt very close to him as we were side by side on so many issues since I came to BC in 2003.

    I can’t imagine never heading to see him at Metis Matters Radio Show or how upset he could become over trivial things at times. While some did not appreciate or understand his passion, I respected it so much.

    To lose Joyce and Ken in months is surreal.

    I will miss you co-pilot/co-host/co-combatant. Most of all I will miss your honest friendship.

    Today is a very hard day so I will spend time remembering so many great times together.

    Farewell Ken and we will carry on your work. That I promise.

    Keith Henry
    President

  6. Earlene Bitterman December 10, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

    There is a story I must tell, when we first met Ken. My daughter and I visited him and Joyce in Surrey.

    He said “you guys must be hungry”, and invited us for dinner. So he drove us to the mall, and went to every sample table. Must of been 10 sample tables or so of every kind of food on tooth picks. After spending 2 hours budging in the line ups, the ladies would look up with a smugface, “oh no” here he comes again.

    Then my daughter calmly turns to him and says, “are we going for dinner now?” He says, “what you guys are still hungry” lol

    He was very resourceful, without a doubt. 🙂 Will never forget that

  7. Lauretta and Ron December 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

    Ken and Joyce lived their lives well and set an example for all of us to follow. There is a hole left by them that can never be filled. But they have shone a light in all of our lives that will never be extinguished.
    Ken, you have fought the good fight and now it is time for your reward. We will carry on your legacy and we will always remember you. We look forward to seeing you again. Thank you for all of the lives you touched along the way. We are better for knowing you.

  8. Wendy / Noel Poitras' Daughter December 10, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    Keith,

    Thank you for the notice on Ken and Joyce, may they rest in peace together
    Earlene, thank you for making the video you also made a lovely one of my father when he passed away. My father was a good friend and supporter of Ken and Joyce and also Keith. I was very saddened to hear of Joyce’s passing even though I never found out until much later and today opening emails and seeing Ken Fisher passed away made me think of all the things that Ken especially and Joyce did over the years. Their love, energy and knowledge will be missed

    My condolences to the Fisher Family and to Keith who lost a good friend and to all the Metis people and all of the friends and relatives.

    • Earlene Bitterman December 10, 2017 at 10:33 pm #

      I’m honoured to have met you and Noel Poitras and inviting me into your home.

  9. Maxine & Philip Lavallee December 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    What a shock it was for us to learn of Ken’s Passing.
    the press release was very well done and informative. it’s awe stricking to know the depth of his belief in the Metis Society and the passion he showed for all his people who became. Family once they met.
    it was such a loss when Joyce passed now they are together again. We will miss him, his voice on the radio, the way he had with people and his convictions.

    Maxine and Philip Lavallee.

  10. Jeanie Cardinal December 10, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

    Thank you Ken for all that you’ve given to the Metis people.
    You’ve left a Metis legacy paved through your efforts and contributions. Sometimes slaying dragons means having spilt some blood, sometimes the blood of others and sometime our own. However the common theme and highest intention of our hearts and for our Metis people is to give what you can, however you can, for as long as you can and give for the greater of the many.
    Thank you for each and every contribution you’ve given, each pathway you’ve paved, and for the blood shed upon the road that makes us remember the warrior that traveled this Metis pathway, which we find ourselves privileged to be one as a result of your efforts.
    Speedy travel homeward bound and may Joyce and Heavens Angels welcome you with the fiddle playing upon your arrival home.

    Much love and it’s been an honour privilege to have known you and served with you for our Metis People.

    With greatest respect and love,
    Follow the light home Metis Brothers.
    Jeanie Cardinal

    • Earlene Bitterman December 10, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

      Beautiful.

  11. Raoul A.Carriere December 10, 2017 at 11:37 pm #

    I’m so very sorry that we have loss our two very good Friends Joyce & Kenneth Fisher within of 4 months apart They will be surly miss by every one that they registered over the years that where received with open arms by Joyce ;; I will miss them a lot because while they had their office I was their just about every day with them ;;; and Ken and I would go for Brew at the Bowling Alley Pub when we could ;;; Also Joyce was especially proud that I my Son his Daughter and Her 2 Children where registered that She phoned Metis Matters Radio to mention that on the Airwaves ;;;

  12. John and Sharon Cashore December 11, 2017 at 8:35 am #

    What a wonderful legacy it is to know that the spirit of Ken and Joyce lives on within our federation, as we continue to pursue the cause of justice.

  13. Ronald Coles December 11, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

    Ronald Coles Nova Metis.
    Im in deep sorrow, lost a close Buddy on Saturday, My Metis friend Ken and 4 months earlier
    Joyce. Will miss the time we had beer, talked,played pool with saskatchewan rules and debated
    about every topic about Metis, much much more memories.God choose to take his soul, but his
    spirit about Metis matter’s will be with us going forward.

  14. James Andrew December 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

    I am saddened about this wonderful man’s passing. Ken was our Metis representative for our MD admissions subcommittee. He helped to selected our future Indigenous physicians. Last spring he had me on his talk radio show Metis Matters. Between commercials he would tell the audience he was with James Dean, and after another commercial I was called James Stewart. My friends asked why didn’t you correct him. I responded you never corrected a respected elder. Plus I didn’t mine being called those names. I thought it was cool. We will miss you Ken!

  15. Column from Surrey Now Leader December 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    Ken Fisher, president of Nova Metis Heritage Association in Surrey, says the Metis are all-too-often lost in the catchphrases Indigenous or Aboriginal. “Their identity is getting lost in those two words people tend to use,” he said. “It’s a reality.”

  16. Joseph Shannon December 14, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    I am saddened to hear that Ken is no longer with us. There is a void in our Metis world! I met Ken and Joyce only 9 years ago when I became a NOVA member. It is sad that both are gone, only 4 months apart. Thanks Ken and Joyce for all your welcoming support over these years.

    Ken had recently been inviting me to come to the SUILC (Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee) meetings, since he wanted somebody (possibly myself) to replace him on the committee for NOVA. Having missed the November meeting, I finally made it to the December 8th meeting, and we were all expecting him to be there with us. There was a seat saved for him at the table by one other NOVA member. We all knew it was very unusual for him not to show up. Unfortunately, it was not to be – the seat remained empty. That day, I decided to continue on with the SUILC as Ken’s replacement. It will be an honour to do so, Ken. Thanks for the invitation.

    Ken taught me a few things – the importance of making a commitment and the importance of following through. Thanks for that Ken. I am missing your presence.

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