Nisga'a Nation mourns loss of President Nelson Leeson

NEW AIYANSH, BC, Nov. 27 /CNW/ - The Nisga'a Nation is deeply saddened by the passing away of Nisga'a Lisims Government President Nelson Leeson yesterday after his long struggle with diabetes. "We cannot describe the loss that we feel," said Kevin McKay, Chairperson of Nisga'a Lisims Government. "Nelson has gone all too soon to join the other Nisga'a chiefs and matriarchs who, like him, dedicated their lives to the struggle for a just settlement of the Land Question. He was more than just our leader; he was our close friend and a constant inspiration in our government's efforts to achieve progress and prosperity for the Nisga'a people".

Nelson Leeson was elected President of Nisga'a Lisims Government in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. He played a key role in the settlement of the historic Nisga'a Treaty, serving as Executive Chairperson of the Nisga'a Tribal Council and Chief Councillor of the Laxgalts'ap Band at different times during the many years of negotiation of the Treaty. Since 2004 he also served as co-chair of the Land Claims Agreements Coalition, helping to bring together all Aboriginal peoples of Canada who have modern treaties.

Known throughout British Columbia and across Canada for his passionate commitment to progress for Aboriginal peoples, President Leeson will be deeply missed for his unfailing optimism and generosity of spirit.

"It is hard to imagine that we could ever have achieved our Treaty without Nelson," said Edmond Wright, Secretary-Treasurer of Nisga'a Lisims Government. "When the going got tough, he had a way of making us laugh, bringing us together as a team, and inspiring us to greater effort. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to all of the members of Nelson's family. We will miss him more than words can say."


For further information: For further information: Les Clayton, Director, Communications and Intergovernmental Affairs, (250) 633-3001

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