Skip to main content

Charlie Angus speaks in Montebello, Que., on Jan. 19, 2016.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Story continues below advertisement

Bob Merasty of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said what's needed is more funding for both mental health and community programs.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter