GODS LAKE NARROWS, Man. — A northern Manitoba First Nation is raising the alarm about a spate of suicides in the community this summer.
Leaders from God's Lake First Nation say four young people have taken their own lives and there have been 22 suicide attempts.
In a news release from group representing northern Manitoba First Nations, God’s Lake Chief Gilbert Andrews calls the situation a crisis and says the reserve needs help.
A state of emergency has been declared.
God’s Lake First Nation is a fly-in community about 550 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg with a population of about 1,300.
Andrews says community meetings are planned for next week to discuss the issue and work on a plan.
"This is a crisis that our health staff are dealing with every day and we need help immediately," Andrews said in the release sent out by plan Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak.
"We must develop a comprehensive plan in partnership with the federal government. Otherwise this crisis will continue, and we will continue to experience tragedy and trauma."
MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee says the group is working closely with band leadership.
"MKO is deeply concerned about this crisis," Settee said.
"We have called on officials with the government of Canada to ensure the community receives proper resources, such as qualified therapists. MKO is also sending our mobile crisis response team to the community."
(CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said God's Lake is about 1,000 kilometres from Winnipeg.