Katzie First Nation lost one of its members who never failed to show up and share the Katzie culture with the larger community.
Drummer and singer Dean Sam died Aug. 10 at age 50.
He was originally from the Tsartlip First Nation on Vancouver Island and came to this area for a soccer tournament, where he met his wife Coleen Pierre.
Sam had suffered from chronic lung disease since childhood.
“In the last eight months it became much more pronounced,” said chief Susan Miller.
In addition to being a reliable singer or dancer anytime ceremonies were involved, Sam also did support work for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district.
One of the First Nations traditions is that when you have a gift or a talent for something, you have to share it, so Sam never refused a request, Miller said.
“He was a very good teacher.”
Sam is also survived by his three children, Joachim Pierre, Mavis Pierre and Francis Pierre.
About 500 people showed up for prayers Aug. 13 in the new Katzie Community and Health Centre.