On November 11, 2022 at age 52, Tamara Leigh Zyganiuk “Nowehkeezgokwe” was called home by our Creator. Surviving family members include: her parents, Alexander (Doris Potts-Zyganiuk); brother, Adam Mattei; and sister, Jessica Randal. Tamara spent her last years in Vancouver because she wanted to help find a cure for Huntington’s disease through DNA and tissue donation.

Tamara fought a fearless battle with Huntington’s disease confirmed through tests taken at the age of 18. Tammy loved life, family, good times, cats, travels, and her smokes n coffee. She was a free spirit and could visit with everyone – no stranger to anyone! During her teen years, Tamara tested academically in the genius range but chose to live an independent and fun-seeking life. Her mother, Diane Melville, passed away at a much earlier age of 39 from Huntington’s.

Harmony Red Sky, cousin, rushed to be with Tammy upon learning of her terminal stage. It is with greatest appreciation that Harmony was with Tammy on her last night and day – story telling into the night, singing, praying, laughing, crying and there to watch her take her last breath - and finally, giving her a cedar bath along with ceremonial songs. Tamara was courageous and adventurous throughout her life.

Pazhe Rice, aunt, quickly organized a Traditional funeral at her home. Tamara has since been cremated at Vancouver, BC with her ashes transported back to Parry Sound which will be placed alongside late grandparents Stefan Zyganiuk and Jean Rice in Wasauksing Cemetery following the Celebration of Life.

A date will be announced later for the June 2023 Celebration of Life for Tamara Zyganiuk with an open invitation for all family, friends, and community members.


My deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of this amazing kwe
Rip Beautiful

-Anita Tabobondung

So sorry to hear of your loss. You are in our hearts and our prayers.

-Rick and Jean Beckett

Condolences to Alex and Family. Sorry to hear of Tamara’s passing. Sending hugs and strength to get through this difficult time.

-Clara Partridge

Thinking of all family. Prayers for her journey.


Dear Alex:
This is a beautiful obituary and a wonderful tribute to Tami. The lovely photo that accompanies it is how I will remember her.

-Karen Melville

To my friends the Zyganiuk's , I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of not only a daughter, but a niece and granddaughter and cousin. Alex my heart aches for every one of you! Please accept my whole family's heartfelt condolences. I know from caring for your father that he would be right there to welcome her to is and your mother's open arms.

-Dennis Brownley