House of Commons Speaker acknowledges 'the gravity' of the crisis in northern Ontario community
Apr 12, 2016
The House of Commons will hold an emergency debate this evening over "the gravity" of the many teen suicide attempts on the First Nation reserve of Attawapiskat.
The request for an emergency debate comes as Attawapiskat Chief Bruce Shisheesh fears more young people will try to harm themselves while the community tries to grapple with the crisis after declaring a state of emergency Saturday, following reports of 11 suicide attempts in one day. There are also reports of over 100 suicide attempts and at least one death since September.
The emergency debate was approved by House Speaker Geoff Regan on Tuesday morning on a request from NDP MP Charlie Angus, whose riding includes Attawapiskat.
"The crisis in Attawapiskat has gathered world attention and people are looking to this Parliament to explain the lack of hope, that's not just in Attawapiskat but in so many indigenous communities. And they're looking to us, in this new Parliament, to offer change," Angus said in the House of Commons on Tuesday morning.