FREDERICTON- A report on youth suicide prevention in New Brunswick Indigenous communities is calling for provincial legislation that would recognize and support Indigenous languages and for more mental health funding.
The report released today called “No Child Left Behind” makes 13 recommendations to address the challenges faced by Indigenous children and youth.
First Nations Advisory Council co-chair Roxanne Sappier says there have been eight suicides involving young Indigenous people in the province since the government council began working on the report in April.
Chief Aaron Sock of Elsipogtog says he recently looked at a picture of the seven boys and eight girls in his Grade 5 class, and only two of the boys and five of the girls have not died by suicide.
New Brunswick deputy child and youth advocate Christian Whalen says his office will hold government to account and track the implementation of the recommendations.
Today’s report is one of two that will be released this week and that were spurred by the death in February of 16-year-old Lexi Daken, who died by suicide less than a week after waiting eight hours at a hospital emergency room in Fredericton.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2021.