Nathaniel Bosum, July 9, 1989 – July 1, 2018

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Almost 29 years ago Abel and Sophie Bosum welcomed Nathaniel Bosum into their lives. From the start Nathaniel was a happy child loved by the entire family. He always had a smile on his face, one that was genuine and real. Every person who met him saw this both in his actions and in the way he shared his life with those around him.

According to his father, Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum, “People immediately liked Nathaniel and he brought out the best in people around him because of who he was and because of the beauty of his character.”

The last time I saw Nathaniel was during a hunting trip with his brothers Curtis and Reggie. He had a huge smile and warm welcome for me. That was the way he was brought up and part of the values he lived by. He hunted, fished and spent time on the land often with family and his many friends.

It was something that made his father very proud. “Nathaniel exemplified everything that you work for and strive for to see in your child,” said Abel Bosum. “He was smart, he was confident, he worked hard at everything he did, he was successful, and he was a kind soul. He put into practice all the values and all those guiding principles that we instilled in him that we thought would help him in his life.”

Curtis Bosum echoed these thoughts. “He shed positive, inspiring and hopeful light everywhere he went,” Curtis said of his younger brother. “We all remember his great smile, kind manners and respectful tone.”

Nathaniel enjoyed life to the fullest and was fearless in how he approached it. He loved to explore his limits and challenge himself in everything he did. His passion led him to become a top competitor in both snowmobile and motocross racing.

“I was riding motocross since I turned five,” a teenaged Nathaniel told the Nation for an article published in 2004. “I turned pro when I was 15, and before that every winter I went to Florida or Georgia to train.”

Sadly, his career came to an end July 1 after an accident during a motocross race in Baie-Comeau. He passed away in hospital from injuries he sustained.

His mother Sophie expressed her feelings about Nathaniel’s racing career. “I must be honest with you, I did have a mother’s natural fear when it came to the sport he chose to devote his energy and his passion to. But I also knew that he loved the sport, and to be honest, I also believe that the sport he chose helped him to develop his character, and it contributed to Nathaniel becoming the wonderful person he became.”

The first time I saw Nathaniel in action was in May 2001 at a motocross challenge in Montreal’s Molson Centre (as it was then called) when he was only 11 years old. Though he finished second in the 85cc class that year, the next year would see him winning a provincial championship. At the age of nine Nathaniel was considered the 27th best motocross racer in the world. After Montreal in 2003 he won two provincial championships in the Super-Mini 105cc and the 125cc classes. Then 2004 saw another milestone as he won the 250cc intermediate provincial series.

Last year Nathaniel finished fifth overall in the snowcross SCMX Pro standings.

Back in 2004 I asked Nathaniel about what kept him going.

“There are my parents, Abel and Sophie, who give me unconditional support. My brother Curtis, who works with us as the team manager, and my other brother Reggie, who comes out when he can and provides mechanical support. Finally, there is my sister Irene and my brother-in-law Chris Quinn and their two children Liam and Christine who come out to cheer me on and check on how I am doing or did after each race. This support is priceless.”

His commitment to excellence and sharing that with those around him is something we can all honour. Nathaniel will be missed by all who knew him.

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