AMC Offers Support and Condolences to Red Sucker Lake First Nation in the Wake of a Suicide Crisis
October 21, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) offers support and condolences to Chief Samuel Knott and Red Sucker Lake First Nation during this tragic time. Red Sucker Lake First Nation recently declared a state of emergency, requesting a crisis team and mental health workers to be deployed immediately to the First Nations following a series of suicides and attempted suicides. We send prayers to the family and friends of those who have died and those who are recovering.
On Thursday, October 20, 2022, Chief Knott declared a state of emergency after seventeen suicide attempts and the most recent suicide of a 16-year-old this past Tuesday. Chief Knott stated that they need more resources and supports so that youth have something to look forward to and to promote a deeper sense of purpose and passion.
“This ongoing mental health crisis and lack of program funding for youth is an ongoing issue that Canada has shied away from,” Deputy Grand Chief Cornell McLean said. “Our people have lost so much cultural and community connection for generations, and we still see that disconnect today. Our youth are crying for help, and there are ways the government can step up and help them. We need governments to send not only mental health counsellors but to fund appropriate community initiatives and give the youth something to participate in and develop a sense of pride, and individuality, and discover their talents. It should not take these tragic and irreversible measures to get support. We must stop these reactionary band-aid solutions and commit to preventative measures so that our relatives do not seek drastic solutions to feeling unseen.”
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs supports Chief Samuel Knott’s Call for youth and mental health support for the Red Sucker Lake First Nation. We call on the Federal Government to commit to working with First Nation leadership to find solutions that will benefit the lives of youth living on the reserve. This requires the Federal government to fund First Nations to implement and facilitate the creation of programs, spaces, and resources for improved opportunities and growth.
“Our youth are our future, and they will one day be leaders and change-makers,” Deputy Grand Chief Cornell McLean said. “We cannot afford to lose them due to dispassionate politics.”