A member of Parliament says the federal government is planning to fund only half the number of mental-health teams needed to reach every community.
The comment by Charlie Angus, the NDP critic for indigenous and northern affairs, comes following the suicides of four young girls in northern Saskatchewan this month.
The youngest, a 10-year-old girl, killed herself in Deschambault Lake, about 500 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. First Nations officials in Saskatchewan said there have also been numerous suicide attempts so far in October and more than 20 youths are considered at risk.
Angus says Ottawa is failing to address the mental-health problems of indigenous people.
"Until we start to see that willingness to move a major, major response and a commitment and an engagement with the communities to put children first, we're just repeating the '60s scoop. We're repeating the residential schools. And we're repeating the failure in this generation in community after community," Angus said Friday in Saskatoon.
His riding in northern Ontario includes the Attawapiskat reserve, which had a string of suicide attempts earlier this year.
Angus was joined at a news conference by Georgina Jolibois, NDP member of Parliament for Desnethe-Misinnipi-Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan.
She said she has a message for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"I know aboriginal communities across Canada — First Nations, Metis and northerners — we're looking for that nation-to-nation meeting. You said you were going to step up to the plate and we're still waiting," she said.
Earlier this week, Trudeau called the Saskatchewan suicides a tragedy and said the government is committed to working with indigenous communities to deal with the problem.
Bob Merasty of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said what's needed is more funding for both mental health and community programs.