Loss of a ‘true leader,’ rocks community

On Thursday morning, Stacy Marie Asp's family dropped by her house for a visit. They found her on the couch, dead. The 28-year-old, Beaver Creek woman had been back in the territory for about a week.

On Thursday morning, Stacy Marie Asp’s family dropped by her house for a visit.

They found her on the couch, dead.

The 28-year-old, Beaver Creek woman had been back in the territory for about a week.

She was studying aboriginal film production and broadcasting at North Vancouver’s Capilano University, said her uncle Andy Nieman, Yukon’s Child and Youth Advocate.

“She was very talented,” said Nieman. “She did a lot of sewing, like beadwork; she made moose-skin dolls, birch-bark baskets, quilting, she was also an artist. She played the piano. She wrote poetry. And she liked to write – she was writing a book, an autobiography.”

Asp was also a councillor for White River First Nation, a position she was proud to hold, said Sid C. VanderMeer, executive director of the aboriginal government.

“She was fully dedicated to her First Nation and treated every White River First Nation member equal,” he said. “As the executive director, it was a complete pleasure working with a councillor that had so much commitment and cared so much about her nation.

“Her passion for her First Nation was incomparable. Passion and leadership such as this is a very rare find, and Stacy’s contributions to the White River First Nation will surely be missed. Stacy was a true leader.”

Asp had a way of organizing events and getting the community involved, said Nieman.

He’ll miss her big smile the most, he said. “She liked to laugh.”

Asp turned 28 on April 8.

The RCMP are assisting the coroner and investigating this death, as they do for all deaths in the territory, however they have deemed the incident “non-suspicious,” said Sgt. Don Rogers of the Whitehorse Detachment on Monday.

The coroner in Beaver Creek examined the body, but as there were no injuries or obvious signs of death, it was sent to Vancouver for an autopsy, said Sharon Hanley, Yukon’s chief coroner.

The autopsy was done Tuesday but came back with no results. The toxicology report is not expected for about three weeks, said Nieman.

The family will hold a celebration of Asp’s life and a potlatch this Saturday, May 21 at the Nakwata Ku Potlatch house beginning at 1 p.m., with the potlatch starting at 5 p.m.

There will also be a public viewing at Heritage North Funeral Home on Cook Street from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday May 20.

The family asks if anyone has photos that could be added to a slideshow, to contact Asp’s sister Brenda at chevy89truck@hotmail.com or call 604-619-9022.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com