North Caribou Lake, ON – On October 17, 2020, at 6:30 am, approximately 320km north of Sioux Lookout and 520km NW of Thunder Bay, Ontario a young brave man, Nikolas, who is only 13-years-old, began a journey on his bicycle, on the winter road along with 3 of his loyal friends. Beginning at the Musselwhite Road Turnoff to Weagamow First Nation his 148-kilometre ride, to bring awareness of the seriousness of suicide, and to continue to heal his father, Trevor’s suicide day before his anniversary date of his father’s death on October 18, 2017.
Nikolas, 13 is a confident free-spirited young man. He tells Netnewsledger after his ride was successfully completed, “Newmont employees from the Goldcorp Musselwhite Mine, and my little kokum came and met us at the Turnoff off Musselwhite Road. They brought us some food and drinks which was awesome. I loved the pizza bagels. After the bike/walk, I felt happy. I almost felt normal maybe because it’s like I accepted that he was gone and thought about how proud he would have been if he were here”.
Nikolas goes on to say, “I miss my dad every day. I am so happy that my friends, Elijah,14 Tredan,13 and Fabian,16 were there with me to do this cause they have seen me go through it all after my dad died.”
Nikolas was diagnosed recently with Post Traumatic Stress Diagnosis after the loss of his father so this Ride assisted being connected to the Land and cold air.
“There is the added fact that Indigenous Services has not paid the funeral costs for his father’s funeral, over $8,000.00 where Indigenous Services Canada usually covers some of the costs, but funds haven’t been transferred at all,” Nikolas’s grandmother Doreen tells us.
Nikolas is responsible enough to want to pay the bill, that they keep getting, saying it’s not paid yet.
His grandmother, Doreen, told Netnewsledger, “My son’s oldest son is helping him and himself to go on, the memory of seeing him screaming n crying for his dad in the body bag laying on the stretcher in the plane, and I was helpless to comfort him. I am always very happy to see him whenever I do see him. I agreed to help by accepting donations for them either cash or emt’s as they were all out there. Nikolas’s Bike/Walk last night was done in 17 hours from the Musselwhite Turn off to the local radio Station in Weagamow First Nation at 11:43 pm. Nikolas felt like he needed to start something as his dad’s funeral expenses were still unpaid to this day. He also wanted to heal. Nikolas has gone through so much in the past 3 years as he’s lost relatives as well as friends to suicide.”
Nikolas tells Netnewsledger, “It was cold while biking, the gravel road had some spots that were really ugly, and some spots were nice. It started snowing too, so it was slippery.” We are just glad he is out of the cold now and that what he has chosen to do on his own, is truly admirable and has brought awareness of the seriousness of Suicide.
Nikolas’s mother Chantal stated in a humble manner, “I felt so overwhelmed with all the support. A little scared that so many were sharing, but Nikolas has always told me that he wanted to do something in memory of his father. Nikolas was dedicated to doing this bike/walk on Saturday and on Sunday it would be 3 years and so I said, ok. I told him I would be right behind him, and will support him the best way I can. And so that is what I did, I drove behind him and his friends the whole way, I was so proud of them.”
As is a Nation. Nikolas’s healing journey began when his friends stood beside him and rode with him and surrounded by a supportive Team, like behind the scenes, Reuben who designed the Flag they carried on the vehicle for Suicide Awareness and repaired the bikes on their successful healing journey.
With the new announcement that was recently made, we have reached out to Indigenous Services Canada seeking updates on what is happening with the payment of funeral expenses. NNL has not heard back from ISC yet.
We are not sharing the last name of this family, because of the age of this minor. But his heroic actions are what is being recognized here.
If you wish to support this cause you may emt to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.