THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy together with other NAN leadership, Elders and Youth today participated in the annual NAN Day of Prayer. A special radio program was broadcast on Wawatay Radio and a special gathering was held at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay.
“Today we acknowledge the strength, resiliency and gifts of the Nishnawbe Aski people and ask our Creator to help us overcome the challenges we face every day,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy.
Due to the lack of counseling and support services to address the high suicide rates within NAN territory, the NAN Chiefs-in-Assembly declared the annual NAN Day of Prayer in 2002, setting aside one day each year for community healing.
This year, the NAN Day of Prayer coincides with National Addictions Awareness Week – encouraging and promoting a lifestyle free of addictions among individuals, families and communities.
“There has been a growing concern with prescription drug abuse in NAN’s communities, including most recently, the state-of-emergency declared in Eabametoong First Nation. As NAN leadership, we continue to advocate on behalf of the Nishnawbe Aski people for long-term assistance from both levels of government in hopes of reducing the current health and social impacts that the prescription drug abuse epidemic has in NAN territory,” said Beardy.