Melvin Taypotat, AAC

Hello, my name is Melvin Taypotat, and I am of Cree descent from Kahkewistahaw First Nation in Saskatchewan. I been working with Leading Thunderbird Lodge youth treatment center since 2012, in various capacities, starting as a casual Youth Care Worker, moving to a full-time certified Counsellor position, and now as Outreach/Intake Worker.

In 2014, YSAC brought together a team of First Nation and Inuit treatment centre staff to create this training program, and I am honored to have been selected as a Facilitator.  I have delivered this training program since October 2014 to various First Nation communities around Saskatchewan.  My involvement with the Life is Sacred training program has also allowed me to travel nationally and internationally in promoting this important program.

My passion for what I do is a direct reflection of my past, as I have lost several friends and family members to suicide.  I am an advocate for suicide prevention training as it is my hope that this program will help others from experiencing the grief and loss caused by suicide.   My goal for this suicide prevention training is that all communities, schools, and leadership can take the training to prevent further suicides, as it really does take an entire community to make an impact and create change.

Karen Main, B.Admin, CFNHM, Pro. Dir

Karen is a member of the Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation. Her education includes a Bachelor of Administration degree, First Nations Health Manager Certification, and Professional Director designation.

Karen’s work experience includes many years of working with non-profit organizations, a Crown Corporation, a Personal Care Home, and 15 years as the former Executive Director of Leading Thunderbird Lodge – a residential youth treatment facility. Karen’s current position is as Associate Executive Director for YSAC.

Karen recently came on as a Facilitator for the Life is Sacred Suicide Prevention training program, as she too has lost many family members and friends to suicide. Karen values family and is a mother of 3 adult children, and kunshi to 4 grandchildren.

“Take it. It really helps in understanding the issues that have caused (or lead to cause) suicide. Knowing these causes give understanding.”