Wa-Rec Lacey Mae Jackson was brought into this world on August 6, 1999 by Aimee Melendy and Mi-kyo Jackson, and was taken from us far too soon on November 3, 2017. She and her friends were hit by a drunk driver. Lacey Mae was a proud member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and grew up on the Hoopa Reservation here in Northern California. She was loved throughout the community & will be very missed.

Lacey had been carrying around a wooden magnet in her purse that said “be the light,” and it couldn’t be more fitting. She was the brightest light, even in the darkest of times. She was a rock to many — she had so much strength & passion; you could feel the power she held in the way she carried herself. She was a true friend and defender of those she loved, yet she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind if she felt it was necessary. Wise beyond her years, she had the qualities of a great leader, and was well-respected. She helped so many people just by being herself. Lacey enjoyed writing, and though she rarely shared it with others, the few people lucky enough to read some of her poems say that it showed another side to her. She was talented at conveying her thoughts and emotions — her worries & frustrations were often expressed through her writing. She didn’t let the darker side of life keep her down, instead choosing to be the light for others- a light that will be missed greatly, but will shine on through those that love her. She also enjoyed art, reading, spending time with her family & friends (who were family), and helping others, shown through her community involvement.

Lacey Mae valued her education and was very successful academically. She graduated the 8th grade from Hoopa Valley Elementary as valedictorian; she graduated from Hoopa Valley High School with honors, and from a College Success Program. She strived to be at the top of her class and took her experiences as an opportunity to expand her knowledge & determine her future — she knew she could do anything she wanted. As she grew, she became more involved in indigenous rights, and was fearless in trying to fix the injustices of the world. She was on the student council and always made time for her school & community. One smokey summer, she even wrote to several air filter companies and was able to get filters donated to elders in her community — just a small glimpse of what she did for others. She was humble, focusing on the cause rather than her own achievements. She was accepted to major schools such as UC Davis, Berkeley, San Diego State, and University of Oregon, but ultimately decided to stay close to the home she loved so much. Lacey left for Shasta Community College in August, shortly after turning 18.

Her culture was a large part of Lacey’s life, and she held her traditional teachings & practices dear to her heart. She was committed to her people, and gave a voice to those without- she often did what most would not. She excelled in leadership and promoted the sustainability of tribal lands & membership. Her dedication was shown through the organizations she was involved with; she served on both the Hoopa Valley Youth Council and Warrior Institute Board. Lacey had many great achievements in her life, not limited to her young age or gender, as she took leadership roles in the adult world as well. She served as a board member of True North, a social & environmental justice organizing network. Her work influenced everyone she came in contact with, as well as gaining their confidence on the importance of youth voice. She took her voice all the way to the national level with PICO (People Involved in Community Organizing), and attended the national trainings where she educated people on the importance of sovereignty and the voice of, not just youth, but women of color as well. Lacey represented her people and stood on panels & worked with organizations around the country such as: Inter-tribal Youth Climate Change Conference in Washington, D.C.; Climate Justice Youth Network in Oregon; Bioneers Environmental Justice in San Rafael, CA; Native American in Anthropology in San Diego, CA; Generation Indigenous (national movement); and California Endowment (statewide initiatives). She will also be remembered for her dedication to Standing Rock as a water protector. Not only did she travel to North Dakota on multiple occasions to hold space with the Sioux tribe fighting for their rights, she helped with presentations, fundraisers, rallies, and the divestment movement, as well as inspiring many others to do their part. She made friends from around the world through her involvement, and was loved by everyone who knew her.

Lacey left behind a large family who loved her dearly. Her mother, Aimee Melendy; father, Mi-kyo Jackson; siblings, Keduescha Jackson, KC Wolfe, Quincy Jackson, and Neil Moon, Jr; cousin-sister Sasha Pearl Lemieux; her grandparents, Patricia Joseph, Carol Hutton(Jeff), Leslie Jackson, Jaime Melendy(Jackie), and Maggie & Art Dickson; aunties, Yolanda(Onna) Joseph, Bessie Ann Shorty, Kee-yeh Joseph, Kin-sin-ta’ Joseph, Kis-dyan-te’ Joseph, Brandi Joseph, Michelle Melendy, Janae Stevens, and Rachel Powell; uncles, Eric Joseph, Si-lis-chitawn Jackson, Nah-tes Jackson, Thomas H. Joseph II, Ben Shorty, Nikowah Hostler, and Jim Melendy; great-aunties, Cheri Buck, Holly Frederick, Callie Lara, Linda Winzel, Leslie(Ces) Abbott, Stacey Abbott, Diedre Young, Kate Carpenter, Rochelle Encinas, Laura Latham, Sugar Latham, Wanda Latham, Lilian Hostler, Laura Ferris, Lila Gertsner, Janet Jackson; great-uncles, Richard McClellan Jr., Byron(Boggus) Hostler Jr, Loren Joseph, Melvin Joseph Sr, Robert(Bob) Joseph, Jack Norton, Lenny Abbott, Roger Britton, Patrick Melendy, John Melendy, Kevin Latham Sr, Lester Latham, JD Gertsner, Lincoln Jackson, James Sony Jackson; great-great-aunties, Marceline Norton and Ethel Garcia; first cousins, Ellie Joseph, Wynter Lyons, Napooi Shorty, Chee Shorty, Rotah Shorty, Nah-tes(Honeyman) Jackson, Tayrete Alexia Jackson, David Lee Jackson, Kinehstan Sarah Lewis, Brycee Hostler, Jone-deh Hostler, Eugene Joseph Hostler, Cassie O’rourke, Michael(Mighty) O’rourke II(Lori), Robert(Robbie) O’rourke, Derek McCarty, Jaime Spears, Analisia(Cheshep) Melendy, & Steven Stevens; as well as numerous other cousins: Robroy Latham, Kevin Latham Jr, Josh Latham, Megan Latham, Chwakin Latham, Madolin O’rourke, Geno O’rourke, T.R. Maloney, Marshall Maloney, Billy Maloney, Gerald Moon, Loren Hostler, Erica Hostler, Keith Abbott, Ashley Abbott, Chance Carpenter, Angie Melendy, Tim Melendy, Patrick Melendy, Bradley Melendy, Gary Young, and more; as well as elders dear to her heart: Ella Benedict, Alvera Houston, & Mary Ann Colegrove.

She was preceded in death by: her grandfathers, Leroy(Bitsy) Jackson and Thomas Joseph Sr; great-aunties Leona(Chicken) Jackson, Liz Latham, Brenda Latham; auntie Traci Melendy; uncles Steve Abbott, Paul Toe, Eugene Young, & Harold Blaine Marshall; great-grandparents Patricia Tsewenaldin, Madolin Keller, Noreen & Lester Latham, & Ward Melendy, Pearl & James Jackson Sr; great-great-grandparents Emma & Jack Norton Sr, George & Nancy Nixon, Henry McClellan, Ned & Louisa Jackson, Mae & George Abbott, Matilda & Edward Marshall; and many more not mentioned.

“We’ve all got both light & dark, what matters is the part we act on; that’s who we really are.” -Sirius Black, from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

There will be a wake held in honor of Lacey Mae and Erica Young on Thursday November 9th. Her Funeral Services will be held Saturday, November 11th at 11:00 a.m. at Mattz Gymnasium Hoopa High School. Thank you for your kindness & support in this difficult time. Aho.


The obituary above was submitted by Lacey Jackson’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.