Edmonton entrepreneur and Order of Canada recipient Herb Belcourt died Wednesday morning after battling Stage 4 cancer.
Lesley, his wife of 44 years, said Belcourt passed away one day before his 86th birthday.
In 2010, Belcourt was awarded the Order of Canada for his work to improve the lives of Métis people in Alberta.
In January of this year, he was inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame. He also received the 2017 Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award and was the first Métis person to be given that honour.
“You have no idea how gratifying it is,” Belcourt said during a January interview with Global News. “We’ve got over 900 people out there working for a living, and making big money some of them. There’s CEOs for corporations, there’s doctors, lawyers, electricians, pipe fitters… over 100 nurses working in Alberta.”
“They tell me I only have a month to live, but I’m going to live a lot longer than that because I’ve got a lot of things to do yet before I go.”
Belcourt founded several businesses. He also co-founded the Belcourt Brosseau Métis Award, a $13-million endowment that has so far given $6 million to more than 1,000 Métis students to continue their education.
In May, a park was named in his honour in Sherwood Park.
Just last month, he was inducted into the Salute to Excellence 2017 Community Service Hall of Fame.