I am from Ontario, Canada. The place where I was born is called Mississauga and it is on the shores of Lake Ontario. There is another place in northern Ontario that I have never been to, but hope to visit some day: it is a nation in the Kenora District called Attawapiskat First Nation – it is one of 49 nations comprising the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. It came to national news a few months ago, because of the very high rate of suicides that had occurred and unfortunately keep happening, even at very young ages. I started following the news about Attawapiskat any way I could, and saw that the people there have severe lack in housing, medicare, everyday needs.
They did not stop, they have not given up. They have a wonderful Grand Chief, Alvin Fiddler, and their chief is Chief Bruce Shisheesh. Chief Shisheesh met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two days ago to discuss the actions to be taken for the community.
There is a website called I love Attawapiskat & Canada’s Aboriginal Youth, which shows their various activities and the things they do not only to help their own community, but other communities reeling from suicide and hardship across the whole country! Iain G. Speirs and Josee Lusignan are in charge of the Twitter account and much more for I Love Attawapiskat – they are the founders of this organisation and Josee is also the founder of I Love First Peoples; they work tirelessly, night and day! I am in awe of all that they do. On their website you can see different ways to help.
With this post, I hope to help raise awareness about Attawapiskat even a little. As an educator, aunt, godmother, Canadian and human, I hope to raise awareness for these amazing people, these brilliant children and their lives.
Attawapiskat, I have not met you yet, but I know you are amazing and I send all my love and warmest wishes.
Note: Thank you so much to Josee and Iain for helping me learn so much and adding lots of details to this post.