Everett became a friend and mentor through our 14-year friendship, during which his courage and honesty became the inspiration to relate a timeless and universal message about the tenacity of the human spirit and the courage to confront adversity.
Such individuals are spiritual teachers for the rest of us. They do so in their willingness to pursue the hero's journey. Through their creative gifts, they compel us to awaken to the value and the wholeness of each and every human being, regardless of misguided perceptions about disability and other misperceptions of human difference.
Everett Soop challenged the discrimination that he experienced, for many years confronting such adversity through his political satire. Later, through public speaking, he sought to educate audiences about muscular dystrophy. Moreover, as a Blackfoot person proud of his First Nation cultural identity, he inspired Aboriginal youth (First Nation, Metis and Inuit) to believe in themselves and the importance of their contributions to create a better world.
A Special Posthumous Acknowledgment
In 2006, Everett Soop received the Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.) from Governor-General Michaelle Jean:
An advocate for Aboriginal People and physically challenged persons, the late Everett Soop, who personally suffered from muscular dystrophy, worked unselfishly for the cause of First Nations peoples living with disabilities. His efforts during his tenure with the Alberta Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities culminated in 1993 with the publication of a major report entitled Removing Barriers: An Action Plan for Aboriginal People With Disabilities. Mr. Soop, who passed away in 2001, is remembered for his relentless quest for social justice for his people, as well as for his unique contributions to his province and his country.