State of Emergency in Attawapiskat

Suicide Crisis

Community Informtion

The Attawapiskat First Nation reserve is located by James Bay in Northern Ontario and is home to about 2,000 people. It is an isolated community whose closest urban area is Timmins, which is a 2 hour flight away.

Issues and Causes

A state of emergency was declared after 11 young people attempted suicide in a 24 hour period. Some of the kids were as young as the age of 10.

Young people drink and take drugs believing it will help them escape the tragic realities that they are facing. This spiral is bought on by their isolation from the rest of the world, family breakdowns, and overcrowding in their community. Expanding on isolation, the youth feel a lack of purpose for living due to minimal activities, resources, entertainment, and other ways to keep them occupied. Many of the residents of Attawapiskat don't have any proper ways of contributing to their society or the world, so they do not feel a sense of worth.

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Suicide and self-inflicted injuries are the leading causes of death among First Nations.


At a community forum, the First Nations pleaded for help. The federal and provincial government responded to their cry of need by providing them with crisis workers and mental health counselors.

Further solutions within our own community of St. Joan of Arc may include fundraising ideas such as "Attawapiguest", extra payed for civvies days, bake sales, or independent donations. All funds will go towards bettering the living conditions in Attawapiskat, contributing to providing its residents with education, food, and a YMCA that they have been wanting for a while.

With these solutions, it is our hope that the Attawapiskat community will overcome their crisis. Hopefully decreasing the suicide rates of the youth and helping them realize that their life has a purpose.


If you wish to donate or volunteer in efforts to help Attawapiskat, please contact The Canadian Red Cross. They are currently working to help over 200 indigenous communities across Canada.

Your donations will go towards:

-Improving health and wellness.

-Helping prevent violence and abuse.

-Providing basic necessities.

-Immediately assisting with emergencies.

-Providing community programs.