The First Nation waited 14 years for a school.
The toxic headlines, the comment sections, the conversations with "helpful" strangers; how does a young indigenous youth process and proceed? It's hard enough just being a "native teen." When you're locked down in "Indian" designation, you have to cope with the confusion, fear, anger and anguish that you are exposed to every day.
Last month, I wrote about my frustration with how slowly Canada is moving toward reconciliation with First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples. I despaired about the bad news coming out of reservations, the streets, the jails, our women and girls, the youth suicides... and wondered if we were ever going to move from pretty words to action.
Chris Wattie / Reuters
"They should leave the reserves without a decent education?"
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Entrepreneurship, from my experience, could mean the difference between life and death for these kids. Although I grew up fairly privileged compared to others, I could have easily ended up in prison as many of my childhood friends have. I could have easily committed suicide, been murdered or passed away from addiction as others I knew did, but entrepreneurship saved me. I have gone through hell to succeed and it was anything but a smooth road, but, it kept me too busy and motivated to get into trouble for enough years to mature as a person and gave me something to look forward to.
I contend that the decades of poverty, the murder of more than 1,000 women, the many youth suicides, and the general degradation of a race of people deserve equal attention to the aid and love being bestowed on Fort McMurray. Why is one crisis receiving massive support while another is getting little attention?
"Not only did the last school [not] close down until 1996, but the damage inflicted poisoned our stream of thought for generations to come."
Health Canada has yet to indicate when the workers will be on the ground.
New suicide attempts and overdoses bring “sense of uncertainty” to northern First Nation.
"It is very unfortunate to say the situation of the suicide crisis is continuing."
"I just tell myself: 'She's out of town, she's at her appointment.' I still don't want to believe she's gone."
Dealing with the current crisis isn't enough, because this crisis is unending. As the Attawapiskat teen who confronted Bennett pointed out, our First Nations are living in third-world conditions, and that needs to be dealt with first. We need to build livable houses with access to drinkable water. We need to hire permanent local mental health care workers and addiction specialists. We need to get adults jobs, be it developing local resources, producing and selling traditional goods or telecommuting to office jobs. As Bill Yoachim of the Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island told CBC when asked about the suicide crisis: "We need to create space, whether through sport or culture or recreation, to make people feel alive."
Frank Gunn/Canadian Press
More than 1,000 attempted suicide calls each year in Nunavut, a territory of just over 30,000 people.
Spencer Wynn via Getty Images
"We will continue to assert our sovereign right to occupy this space."
Chris Wattie / Reuters
"The underlying causes, whether it's a lack if sense of hope or emotional pain they can't deal with — they're still there."
The issue of suicide among aboriginal youth was thrust into the spotlight a week ago.
Parliament Hill has been through a week of deep thought and anguish.
First Nations leaders also said the system as deeply flawed.
Spencer Wynn via Getty Images
The province will provide up to $2 million and a deployment of additional health-care workers.
The biggest complaint I hear from teenagers is that we don't take them seriously. The teens of Attawapiskat have made a list of what they have in their community, their community and social assets if you will. Things like a gym, a Healing Lodge, and a school. They have also made another list: 'What we need.' Notice the list was not titled what we want. Need. These children need a Fitness Centre; it was the first thing on their list. The second was a Track and Field facility. More Sports, a Youth Camp and a clean Swimming Pool. We need to listen now, and give them what they need before it's too late.
An expert says suicide is a behaviour, but it can also be seen as an idea.
"I wanted to give up on life. But now, I know that it shouldn't be that way. I'm slowly learning about life and taking it day by day."
One of the youths was nine years old.
Health Minister Jane Philpott said the government must — and will — respond.
"I've lost count of the states of emergency in the James Bay region."
The former co-manager of Attawapiskat First Nation is facing fraud and theft charges, CBC News has learned. Clayton Kennedy was co-manager of the northern Ontario band’s finances from July 2010 until...
ATTAWAPISKAT, Ont. - A federal MP says a fire that forced about 70 residents from improvised housing in the remote Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario could have easily turned into a disaste...
OTTAWA - A year after the northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat jarred the country's conscience with its deplorable housing conditions, the reserve next door has only narrowly averted a similar c...
This week will mark the first anniversary since Attawawpiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency over the abysmal housing situation on the James Bay coast. Footage of the living conditions in this isolated community shocked Canadians and resulted in a media firestorm.
The crisis became a cultural Pandora's box that unleashed numerous issues and misconceptions regarding our relationship with Canada's First Peoples. Now on the eve of this dark anniversary, Canada's "Katrina" moment has made it to the big screen. And who better equipped to tell the real story of the 2011-housing crisis than iconic filmmaker Alanis Obamsawin?
We are disturbed that in the days following a Federal Court decision you refused to provide a ministerial guarantee to support a plan to build 30 new duplexes in Attawapiskat through rents established at market rates.
Thirty new units would have gone a long way towards alleviating the serious levels of overcrowding in the community. As the band had already been approved by CMHC, your role was simply to sign a ministerial guarantee. This was not a hand-out but a forward-looking plan that to provide safe housing for families who are living in very precarious conditions.
OTTAWA - The last time the chiefs of First Nations gathered for a national strategy session, the housing crisis in Attawapiskat, Ont., cast a dark shadow that no one could ignore.Outraged resolutions...