AMC offers support and condolences to Chief Jennifer Bone and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation leadership regarding the rash of suicides on reserve
October 13, 2020
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) offers support and condolences to Sioux Valley Dakota Nation (Sioux Valley) following a rash of three suicides in the past week and a total of four suicides over the past month, and a further rash of documented suicide attempts. This has since led the First Nation to declare a state of emergency effective October 9, 2020.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas offered, “This is devastating information to learn of and it with my fullest support that I stand with the Nation, Chief Bone and her leadership in declaring this state of emergency. I offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those we’ve recently lost as well as support to all community members dealing with these tragedies amidst a global pandemic.”
“This has been a difficult time in our Nation. We are having funerals on a weekly basis and it is wearing us down. Our Council and management team have been working around the clock to assist in anyway possible and I acknowledge and thank them for their tireless work and support of all of our citizens, but we need federal support to address this crisis.
I want every First Nation citizen to know that they are not alone. I am here. Your families and friends are here. Reach out and we will do everything in our power to give you every support available. You are not alone,” said Chief Jennifer Bone of Sioux Valley.
“AMC is committed to supporting Sioux Valley and all First Nations in any way possible and it is most timely to say this in light of today being World Mental Health Day: a day where we acknowledge the importance and need to take our mental health seriously as it is a part of our overall wellbeing. Especially now, in these most unprecedented times in a global pandemic, we must acknowledge that our mental health is of top priority. We must flow the necessary resources to those who need it most, listen to those who reach out for help, and support each other today and everyday. There is no room for stigmatization in our Nations. Mental health is part of our health, and no one should be made to feel alone. We are all in this together. Be socially distant, but do not forget about each other. Wear a mask, but be sure to speak kind words, even a little louder if necessary. Wash your hands regularly, but be sure to virtually lend a hand and virtually reach out to those in need,” continued AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.
www.manitoba.ca/covid19/bewell/virtualtherapy Emergency Help Line: 1 204 786 8686
www.reasontolive.ca Emergency Help Line: 1 877 435 7170
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1 855 242 3310