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Micah Messent in a Facebook photo, posted on June 14, 2018. Messent was one of 18 Canadians who died when an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner crashed south of the nation’s capital on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. Messent was en route to a UN conference in Kenya. (Micah Messent/Facebook) Micah Messent, an ardent young environmentalist who devoted his rising career to protecting the world’s oceans and sharing Indigenous teachings, was one of 18 Canadians killed in an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner crashed near Bishoftu, south of Addis Ababa, shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board .

Like many others on the plane, Messent was on his way to meet other young leaders for the United Nations Environment Assembly, held this week in Kenya. He’d been chosen to go to the conference as a Canadian representative.

He posted the news of his trip as a "surprise" in his last Instagram post, a day before the crash.

"I’m headed to Kenya TOMORROW where I’ll have the chance to meet with other passionate youth and leaders from around the world and explore how we can tackle the biggest challenges that are facing our generation," wrote Messent, who was Métis.

"Im so grateful for this opportunity and want to thank all of the people in my life who have helped me get this far. Wish me luck!" The rest of Messent’s Instagram page shows a young man living out a dream career on the coast where he grew up. He didn’t go three date-stamped posts without a picture of the sea; rarely two without a photo crammed between friends or in a quiet moment with a partner.

Reached by phone on Monday, Messent’s family acknowledged the news but declined interviews. Condolences for Messent have poured in on social media since news of the crash. Youngest of 5 children

Messent was the youngest of five siblings growing up in Courtenay on Vancouver Island’s east coast, traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation, according to a profile posted online last spring.

"Growing up, I spent much of my time exploring various communities across Vancouver Island with my family and sailing around the islands and inlets located throughout the Salish Sea … learning the rich histories and teachings associated with various traditional territories," the profile reads. After finishing high school in 2013, Messent enrolled in Indigenous studies at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, B.C., with a focus on ocean geography.

Messent went on to work for B.C. Parks as an Indigenous Relations Analyst after graduating with his degree four years later. He brought his knowledge to park projects across the province, and he used his Facebook account to implore others to go after scholarships and pursue opportunities to work in and learn more about the outdoors. He was also part of Ocean Bridge, an ocean conservation program for Canadian youth.

Danielle Moore, a young Winnipeg activist, also died in the crash on Sunday. Like Messent, she was involved with Ocean Bridge and had been on her way to the UN conference.

Other Canadian victims include Carleton University professor Pius Adesanmi, and Derick Lwugi, an accountant from Calgary. Edmonton woman Amina Ibrahim Odowa, 33, and her daughter Sofia Abdulkadir, 5, were also killed.

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