NEWS RELEASE: Inaugural De Beers Ice Road Run in Aid of First Nation Youth Suicide Prevention

CFO to run full marathon on winter ‘ice road’ to raise funds for Mushkegowuk Enrichment Fund

TORONTO, March 3, 2015 /CNW/ – Looking to generate both funds and awareness, the Chief Financial Officer of De Beers in Canada will run 42 kilometres on a northern Ontario ice road in the inaugural De Beers Ice Road Run in support of the Mushkegowuk Council’s inquiry into youth suicide in the region.

Steve Thomas will take to the road on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, departing from the De Beers Victor Mine in Ontario’s Far North, approximately 1,100 kilometres north of Toronto in the James Bay Lowlands. Thomas will cover the full marathon distance on the ice road that connects the mine to the local communities for a short period each winter.

Accompanied by a safety support vehicle, Thomas – an experienced marathon runner who has competed in several events, including Boston, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa – will complete the distance in stages, running for 60 minutes at a time before returning to the support vehicle for a short break from the extreme cold that occurs this time of year in the James Bay region.

Thomas said that while De Beers has been a corporate supporter of the Mushkegowuk Council and their inquiry into youth suicide, he felt he wanted to do something on a personal level.

“It was one of those moments when I felt I could contribute somehow and, as a runner, it seemed there was a unique opportunity to draw attention to this important cause by doing something tied to De Beers’ operations and the community.”

The inquiry recently completed its first report to the Mushkegowuk Council and Grand Chief Lawrence Martin says there is more work to be done to deal with this serious issue across the region.

“I want to thank Steve Thomas and De Beers for their assistance in helping us deal with the youth suicide situation,” said Grand Chief Martin. “The reason for this second part of the inquiry is to focus directly at the Youth– to hear their voices and to learn from them on how to prevent any further suicides.”

Those wishing to make a donation in support of the run can do so through the Mushkegowuk Enrichment Fund. Details can be found at


De Beers is a member of the Anglo American group. Established in 1888, De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company with unrivalled expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 20,000 people (directly and as contractors) across the diamond pipeline, and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to Living up to Diamonds by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers visit


The Mushkegowuk Council represents eight First Nations communities in northeastern Ontario, responding to and carrying out the collective will of all Mushkegowuk Members. The Mushkegowuk Council is committed to providing responsible and accountable political leadership, and is dedicated to providing quality equitable and accessible support and advisory services to respond to and meet the social, economic, cultural, educational, spiritual, and political needs of First Nations, thereby improving the quality of life of our people.

SOURCE De Beers Canada Corporation

For further information: Tom Ormsby, Director, External & Corporate Affairs, Tel (416) 645.1710, ext. 2151, Cell (416) 535.5328,; Grand Chief Lawrence Martin, Mushkegowuk Council, Tel (705) 363.7122; Doug Cheechoo, Mushkegowuk Council, Tel (705) 658.4222