Miles Richardson Sr., the hereditary chief of K’aadas Ga Kiiguwaay, was one of four First Nations leaders honoured last week at the grand opening of Tricorp’s new offices in Prince Rupert.
Tricorp unveiled a memorial wall which pays tribute to Mr. Richardson as well as Tsimshian leader Barry Helin, Nisga’a leader James Gosnell and Gitxsan leader Ken Muldoe. The four men were chosen for their achievements in helping pave the way for economic self-reliance.
Miles Richardson Jr. spoke on behalf of the Richardson family at the grand opening, held Friday June 13.
Tricorp sent the following information about Mr. Richardson Sr., who was born in 1932 and died in 1999.
“Miles Richardson believed that self-respect and respecting others was fundamental to a life well-lived. That respect, to be real, must be earned.
He believed in culture and tradition, knowing and being proud of who you are. His father, Milas Richardson, was hereditary Chief Cumshewa. When called upon by his K’aadas Ga Kiiguwaay clan in 1986 to take his place as hereditary chief, he accepted. He became Cheexial, Nungkilslaas and served as chief for the rest of his life.
Ceremony was very important to him. While chief, he held a feast to honour the matriarchs and women of his clan and had the foresight to host a healing potlatch for his people.
Miles Richardson was a family man. After his father died when he was three years old, he was raised by his mother and nurtured and supported by her brothers, Peter and Harry Martin. Together, with his wife Betty, they raised their family of six children, who were the joy of his life.
Miles Richardson believed in the value of education. He was profoundly aware of the relationship between education, a strong economy, and self-sufficiency, whether applied to an individual, a family, a community or a nation. He was careful not to preach, but took every opportunity to urge all those around him to get an education.
Many described Miles Richardson as an independent spirit who was remarkably successful in business. He was a man of great integrity who never compromised what he believed in and was generous, and shared his successes.
A tireless worker, Miles went to work in the forests of Haida Gwaii at a young age. For many years he logged on the islands and up and down the BC coast, working as a faller as he raised his young family.
During many summers, Miles left the bush to fish. When he decided to change his occupation, he purchased a boat built in Skidegate and went to work for himself as a troll fisherman. He enthusiastically immersed himself in his new occupation and was soon ranked among the most successful trollers on the coast, like his father before him.
He supported his wife Betty in founding Rikka Travel, which was a thriving business for many years. He was also a prolific builder, who built homes for his family and later for their families.
Though he was able to work hard and succeed, Miles Richardson knew that education held the key to economic prosperity for coming generations. He offered gentle encouragement and enthusiastic support to both students and would-be students.
We pay tribute to Miles Richardson for his unwavering commitment to his people through culture, education and his example of economic self-reliance.”
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