Attawapiskat declares a state of emergency after 11 suicide attempts in one night

There were 11 suicide attempts in just one night, prompting authorities in the Attawapiskat community to declare a state of emergency.

The Attawapiskat First Nation is one of the province’s most northern communities, just off James Bay. About 2000 people live there.

One resident whose 13-year-old great-niece took her own life in October says they need help to deal with the problems facing their young people. She says latest round of youth suicide attempts started with niece’s death, saying her peers didn’t have the support they needed to manage their grief.

The Federal and Ontario governments are moving to help. A crisis team, including mental health nurses and social workers, is being flown immediately to the remote community.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to twitter to call the situation in Attawapiskat heartbreaking. He pledged to keep working to improve living conditions for Indigenous peoples.