Attawapiskat Seeks Solutions
THUNDER BAY – Attawapiskat is in the news again. The community is struggling to find solutions for an ongoing suicide crisis that has seen many people attempting to kill themselves. The band has called for help, declaring a state of emergency.
Help is on the way to the community. “The situation facing the people of Attawapiskat is a national tragedy that demands immediate action and I have reached out to Chief Bruce Shisheesh to offer our full support,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “I have spoken with Federal Health Minister Philpott and Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins to request immediate resources to deal with this crisis – both on the short and long term. Both Ministers reassured me that they are moving swiftly to work with the community in the wake of this weekend’s terrible events.”
“The situation in Attawapiskat is sadly felt by far too many First Nations across the country,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “We need a First Nations directed national strategy to address First Nations suicide rates and ensure our people are safe and thriving. We need a sustained commitment to address long-standing issues that lead to hopelessness among our peoples, particularly the youth. And, we need to see investments from the federal budget on the ground in our communities immediately – to support our families to enjoy safe and thriving communities that foster hope.”
Many of the media reports out already are showing some of the exact same images from the last time Attawapiskat was in the news across Canada. The same images?!
The real story of Attawapiskat is not the sad images – it is the hope that the community is working hard to make happen.
Youth in the community just completed a walk of hope.
While support is now starting to pour into Attawapiskat, it is important to know that the people in the community have been working to make their community a better place for months, and years.