Snuneymuxw elder William Seward dies
William Seward, an elder of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, died Wednesday after a long illness.
Seward is the son of Bill Seward, one of the oldest elders of the First Nation, and has a long history of active participation in his community and First Nations across the country.
Geraldine Manson, a spokeswoman for the Snuneymuxw, said Seward, who was in his mid60s, has long been an advocate of sports in his community and has been nationally recognized for offering guidance and assistance to those who asked him for help.
Manson said Seward travelled to Montreal in November of 2010, for a "surprise recognition" for his efforts to prevent suicide in Canada's native communities from the First Nations and Inuit Suicide Prevention Association of Quebec and Labrador.
"William has helped many people across Canada and that's why they honoured him," Manson said.
"He shared his teachings with all cultures to help youth, adults and elders to choose life and help them with their healing."
Manson said Seward's declining health in recent years prevented him from participating in many events in the community.
"However, whenever anyone needed guidance, they would knock on his door and he would do all he could to help them," she said. "The loss of William is a time of great sadness for our community."
A private funeral service will be held for Seward on Monday.