ATTAWAPISKAT

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The Youth Of Attawapiskat Have Solutions To Fighting Suicide Crisis

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.
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Book Excerpt: Children of the Broken Treaty

The state of emergency was declared on Oct. 28, 2011, by Attawapiskat's new chief, Theresa Spence. I had known her through her work on council. She didn't strike me as a firebrand or overly political. She was worried that, as the arctic winter descended on the community, people in these makeshift quarters could die. Days turned into weeks, and the temperature kept dropping. Officials from the regional office of Aboriginal Affairs spoke with the community about advancing some money to repair some of the condemned houses, but there was no offer to help get the families out of the tents and shacks.
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Attawapiskat Finally Has a Real School Again

In the dead of winter, minus 40 degree winds whistled through gaps around doors and windows of the decrepit portables that made up the entirety of their school. Until this month, that was life in elementary school in Attawapiskat. After a 14-year wait, children in the remote northern Ontario First Nations community have a real school again.
CP — The Attawapiskat First Nation declared an emergency in October, 2011, because 25 families were living in housing too flimsy to face the harsh winter. The story made national headlines after a HuffPost Canada blog about the crisis by NDP MP Charlie Angus, whose rising includes Attawapiskat, went viral. In response, the Red Cross raised $300,000 from Canadian donors and flew in emergency supplies for families in the most precarious conditions. Federal and provincial emergency officials are refitting a local healing centre as a temporary shelter for the winter. And the federal government has purchased 22 new modular houses, with the hope that they'll be in place later this winter. At the same time, however, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has accused the band of mismanaging federal money and not producing adequate results for the $90 million transferred to the community over five years. He has ordered a full audit and placed administration of the band's finances in the hands of a third-party manager — a decision that angered band leaders and sparked a legal fight. - With a file from The Huffington Post