Chief Roy Mussell, also known as Sxela’:wtxw till (Schelowat tell) passed away from cancer at the age of 57 at his residence in Chilliwack on March 5th, 2006.

Roy was Chief of Skwah First Nation, serving his fourth term when he passed away.

He advocated sustainability, community-based decision-making and planning for results. He had a strong interest in environmental issues, community planning and social change and this led Roy to serve on a variety of boards and committees. Since 1985, Roy provided leadership with the Stolo Tribal Council, BC Aboriginal Training & Employment Association, INAC National Committee on Development Indicators, INAC Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy Evaluation Committee, Stolo Nation Human Resources Development Department, BC Aboriginal Human Resources Development, Chilliwack Tribe, Ch-ihl-kwa-uhk Forestry Ltd., Fraser Basin Council, Aboriginal Human Resources Development Council of Canada, and as a member of the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative’s National Steering Committee.

Roy played a key leadership role in the concerted efforts for change by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal governments. He was innovative in his approach to work and life and possessed 3 key abilities for success: imagination, initiative, and implementation. Roy’s gift for visioning inspired many. Roy has been nominated for the Order of BC, and the letters from individuals across Canada have been overwhelming in their praise and support.

Roy was a very kind and proud man and loved by many people, most of all by his wife, Maryanne, and his four daughters of whom he was extremely proud. His daughters are Tana Mussell, Lara (Kirk) Mussell-Savage, Elyse Mussell (Mike Tacak) and Madison Mussell. He has two granddaughters: Paige Mussell and Jade Mussell-Tacak. Family was the most important thing to Roy. With them, his enjoyments included riding horses, golfing, cooking, hunting for agates on the banks of the Fraser, and just spending time.

Roy is also survived by his brothers Wilbur Campbell of Vancouver, Dick (Sonja), Fred (Donna), Jack (Cindy), and Bill (Marion) all of Chilliwack. He was predeceased by his parents and sister, Sandra McEwan of Duncan.

Roy will always be remembered as a “Good Guy”. Happy Trails, Roy.

A ‘Celebration of Life’ memorial service will be held for Sxela’:wtxw till on Wednesday, March 15th at 2:00 pm at the Richard Malloway Memorial Big House, 7176 Chilliwack River Road, Chilliwack. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Roy Mussell Fund for Aboriginal Youth in care of the Fraser Basin Council, 470 Granville Street, 1st Floor, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1V5.

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