President Sworn In

Nelson Leeson took the oath of office and was sworn in by Oscar Mercer, Chair, Council of Elders as the President of the Nation at the start of the Executive meeting on December 15, 2008.

Council of Elders Sworn In

Members of the Council of Elders were sworn in at the start of the Executive meeting on December 16.

Oscar Mercer is the Chairperson of the Council of Elders.

Regular members include Alexander Angus, Herbert Morven, Stephen Azak, Rev. Harry Moore, Sr.,  Pauline Johnson, Raymond Stewart and Peggy Nyce. Alternate members include Emma Nyce and MacDonald Trimble.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Suicide Distress Line: 1 800 784-2433 (1800 SUICIDE)

Crisis Line: 1 888 562 1214

Teen Crisis Line: 1 888 564 8336

Support Help Sheet

Included in the attached print ready file are:

  • Facts About Suicide;¬†
  • The Helper's Role;
  • How to Help a Suicidal Person;
  • Safety and Wellness Plan;
  • A Helping Plan;
  • Emergency Contact Information.

Safety and Wellness Plan

A Safety Plan is a committment to living to be made by a person in crisis (with your help). They need to:

Keep Safe

  1. Remove planned suicide methods.
  2. Ensure they are safe
    According to their suicide risk they may need to:
    1. take care of themselves
    2. go to their family/friends
    3. go to a hospital and be on 24 hour watch
  3. Meet with clinician
    to assess mental health/suicide risk
  4. Stay sober
    if there are alcohol or drug use issues

Pursue Wellness

How to Help a Suicidal Person

Ask if they are suicidal
Be direct. For example “I’m worried about you and I want to know, have you been thinking about killing yourself?”.

“An angry friend is better than a dead one”. Never keep a “Signal of Suicide” secret or act alone when helping a suicidal person.

The Helper's Role

As a helper always remember to care for yourself.

Self esteem is value that we have in ourselves; it protects us against suicide. Self esteem is based on:

Facts About Suicide

Suicide is not about wanting to die.
It’s about wanting to stop unbearable emotional pain. Almost every suicidal person will choose to live if they can find another way to release their pain and overcome their hopelessness.

Ignoring painful feelings will not make them go away.
By finding someone to talk to, or listening to someone who needs to talk, you can help to release the pain and hopelessness.

The Nisga'a Community Response Team

The Nisga’a Community Response Team has been established to address the issues related to suicide prevention, intervention and post-intervention. Team members acquired the necessary knowledge and skills during a two week workshop. The first session was held at the Trinity Church November 24 – 28 and the second at the Nisg-a’a Lisims Government chambers December 8 -12. The workshops were coordinated by Brent Adams and facilitated by Darien Thira.

Lorna Azak on NCRT and the Challenges We Face

Lorna Azak
“The suicide epidemic was a shock and very difficult because it affected my immediate and extended family. When death happens in one of the Nisg-a’a communities, it affects our whole Nisg-a’a nation because of our family connections.”

“The three things I learned are that:  i) Suicide is not about wanting to die.  ii)  Everyone has experienced pain and hopelessness at least one time in their lives.  iii) By reducing the pain, it reduces suicide risk.”


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