Treaty One Territory – Winnipeg, Manitoba – “Our children are our most precious resource. If we don’t see help soon, we will continue to have more youth suicides and attempts in First Nations in Manitoba and across Canada. We can’t wait anymore,” said Grand Chief Dumas. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) offers its sincere condolences in the loss of four young people and the mental health crisis affecting God’s Lake First Nation. God’s Lake First Nation is located about 550 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
God’s Lake First Nation has declared a state of emergency over the suicides of four young people, and the attempts of twenty-two others. God’s Lake leadership is planning a community meeting next week to talk about the crisis and develop an action plan.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas added “The citizens of God’s Lake have been hit hard by the losses of their young people. Sadly, their deaths are a symptom of the challenges many northern First Nations face, including meth and alcohol. We need the federal government to provide adequate resources to all of our Nations in order to address the addictions and mental health situation which is resulting in the suicides of our kids. This cannot continue – our suicide rates are still four times more than the national average and we need the governments to step up now.”
If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, there is help.
Contact the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line toll-free at 1-877-435-7170 (1-877-HELP170) or the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, or text Kids Help Phone at 686868.