Justin was a man who always had a smile and joke ready. He got his degree. He taught grant-writing, started businesses, helped youth reconnect with their culture, skippered traditional canoes, he was a traditional dancer, drummer, singer, father. And a good friend. And this is what I hope we all remember him for. You all know what I mean, for if you knew him, you have a memory of him helping you learn something, network, or laugh.
At this time of tragedy, he leaves behind two sons, and a community that looked up to him as a role model and leader. Justin always believed strongly in the Canoe and the culture and healing it carried.
Please help in any way you can. This fund and your donation will be split 3 ways:
1. To help the family's memorial and funeral expenses. 2. To help his young sons, Kaiden and Liam. 3. To set up a memorial fund to be donated to canoe families. In this way, Justin can continue giving back, to the Lummi youth canoe, and to all the others, through the healing and culture of the canoe which he believed in so strongly.
Update: 1. The Lummi Nation will be covering the majority of the memorial and funeral expenses. So this part will help cover the family's direct costs such as flying Justin's father in.
2. Both Mothers have been consulted as to how they wish to receive the shares for Justin's sons. They also have Trusts set up/being set up for their sons. Special thanks to Aaron Kiviat, an attorney / estate planner and childhood friend of Justin's for his offer of help.
3. Potlatch Fund, where Justin worked teaching grantwriting is now aware of this tragedy and has agreed to accept #3, the memorial fund. It will be earmarked towards grants which are given out each year to the Canoe Families to continue their yearly journeys "on the highways of our ancestors."