Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day says that Chiefs across the province are adamant that while Prime Minister Trudeau travels the country he must make the time to visit with First Nation communities, particularly the ones that are experiencing extreme social emergencies such as youth suicide and grinding poverty.
TORONTO – “Enough is enough. Until we deal with the social determinants of First Nation health, these emergencies and heart-breaking suicides will continue,” said Ontario Regional Chief Day. “There must be a combined and coordinated effort from all levels of government on the most pressing of First Nations’ health matters in order to repair this broken relationship between First Nations and Canada.”
“Not one average Canadian would let their children live in such conditions. This should be a tipping point as a people, as nations and as a country.”
“First Nations continue to tragically relive the impacts of historical abuses that have occurred as a result of colonialism and the residential school system. This is much of what the central problems are, and why we are seeing First Nation youth respond through suicide. We must deal with this; that means everyone needs to take responsibility; First Nations, the province and the federal government of Canada combined.
According to a report from the Canadian Institute of Health, suicides among First Nations youth (aged 15 to 24) was about five to seven times higher than non-Indigenous youth in Canada.
“Ontario and Canada must work with First Nations in the coming weeks on a plan of immediate action to address the suicide crisis. And in the coming months, Canada and the provinces must work with First Nation leadership to immediately address the needs of over 100 communities that exist in Third World conditions in one of the most prosperous nations and provinces in the world.”
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