McLeod calls for multi-faceted response to Attawapiskat crisis

By James Peters
April 13, 2016 - 1:22pm

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod was front and centre in an emergency debate in the House of Commons last night in response to the suicide crisis in the remote First Nations community of Attawapiskat.

Dozens of youth have attempted suicide in recent weeks, and the government has sent in a mental health crisis team.

McLeod is the opposition Conservatives' Critic for Indigenous Affairs.

She says the problem is not only Attawapiskat's, but there is reason for optimism.

"Attawapiskat is in crisis, but it's unique," said McLeod. "Although it was pointed out last night is that there are some communities that have a very, very low [suicide] rate. What we need to look at is what is happening in those communities that has created hope amongst its people."

McLeod says the crisis has historical roots, and it deserves a multi-faceted response that addresses that background.

"This is a problem that has been around for a long time. A current crisis, absolutely, but we've had very, very little impact over probably the last 30, 40 years. The other thing that in my mind is also clear is, we now have tools that are better than we used to."

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