Canada: State of emergency declared over suicide epidemic in First Nation community
April 11, Ontario: A Canadian First Nation community has declared a state of emergency after 11 of its members tried to take their own lives, national media reported. Around 2,000 people are living in the community.
Bruce Shisheesh, the chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation community, said 11 people attempted to take their own lives on Saturday, prompting him to declare a state of emergency.
The Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario saw 28 suicide attempts in March and more than 100 since last September, Canadian media said, with one person is reported to have died.
Charlie Angus, the local member of parliament, told the Canadian Press it was part of a “rolling nightmare” of more and more suicide attempts among young people throughout the winter.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter: “The news from Attawapiskat is heartbreaking. We’ll continue to work to improve living conditions for all Indigenous peoples.”
The First Nations government was sending a crisis response unit to the community following the declaration on Saturday, Canadian media said.
Canada's 1.4 million indigenous people have high levels of poverty.
The Oslo Times