As northern leaders speak to the need of increased supports to prevent suicides in their communities, families from the Far North community of Fond du Lac shared their experiences with suicide.

Chief Louis Mercredi and a delegation were in Regina Tuesday to show support for Tristen Durocher and his 44-day fast at the legislative grounds calling for greater action on suicide prevention.

Mercredi said two brothers-in-law, a nephew and his daughter’s boyfriend have all taken their own lives.

He explained that everyone wants to help when there is a tragedy, but there is no long-term solution. “The elders use to say, we should not be burying our young ones,” he said. “It should be the other way around.”

Eighteen-year-old Layman Fern of Fond du Lac said he has attempted suicide in the past.

He is also a survivor of a plane crash in Fond du Lac in December 2017.

Fern said he has a message of hope for people who may be contemplating taking their own life.

“Love is all we need,” he said. “With love, you can do anything. Love will always find a way.”

He added his father committed suicide, causing his family to work through that trauma.

“Its crazy to contemplate your own life and wonder whether its really worth it. Everyone has a purpose. You have to find your appreciation for life. What makes you happy in the morning? What wakes you up in the morning and ensures that you have a good day?”

Victor McDonald, who was also on hand at the Legislature, had a son who took his own life in 2017.

He spoke passionately about the need for greater investment into northern communities to help provide youth with a better future.

(PHOTO: Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation Chief Louie Mercredi and other community members were in Regina on Tuesday to show their support for Tristen Durocher. Photo by Dan Jones.)