“Governments must take a pro-active approach…” NAN

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THUNDER BAY –  Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy together with the NAN Executive Council supports Eabametoong First Nation (Fort Hope) in the plea for help to combat the string of violent crimes which have recently occurred in that community. This comes, following the community declaring a state-of-emergency last week. Beardy issued the following statement:

“The federal and provincial governments continue to neglect the real social issues which plague isolated northern First Nations; this has resulted in some situations, such as the violent crime-spree in Eabametoong, to escalate out of control,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “Governments must take a pro-active approach by collaborating with each other and First Nations to provide adequate resourcing to address social problems.”

Since January 2010, Eabametoong First Nation has seen close to fifty suspected arsons, three homicides and the mutilation of animals causing some people in the community to fear for their personal safety. Many of these acts of crime are linked to youth within the community.

In a press release on Friday October 22, 2010, Chief Lewis Nate desperately called on both levels of government and other agencies stating: „…We need short-term support and resources to help us restore safety and address the violent element in our community today….” “…We also need help to develop a long-term plan that will address the root issues that are causing our youth to turn to violence…”

Community leaders are developing a seven point action plan in hopes of beginning to rebuild and heal the community. It includes a short-term Emergency Response Plan and a long-term plan that includes: a Prescription Drug Abuse strategy, education and crime prevention, policing and security, back to the land programming and the completion of the treatment centre.

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