By The Canadian Press on January 24, 2024.
OTTAWA – First Nations leaders are holding an emergency meeting in Ottawa today to discuss a mental-health crisis they warn could get even worse without government help.
Nishnawbe Aski (nish-NAH’-bay ASK’-ee) Nation says there has been an alarming spate of suicides and suicide attempts in the northern Ontario First Nations it represents.
That includes the suicides of a 12-year-old from Sachigo (SAH-chi’-go) Lake First Nation and a 20-year-old in Deer Lake First Nation earlier this month.
The group is also raising concerns about recent unexplained deaths of Indigenous youth and how they are being investigated.
Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says that more lives will be needlessly lost unless meaningful collective action is taken.
He asked a list of political leaders to come to the meeting and Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu (HY’-doo) is expected to attend.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2023.