APTN National News
A small group of people have been holding a vigil for almost a month now in front of the office of Indigenous Affairs in Toronto.
They want to bring awareness to suicide in Indigenous communities.
‘There has been a crisis going on for quite a number of years but more recently it’s been escalating and spiking quite high number of children taking their lives in the northern communities,” said demonstrator Carrie Lester.
Four youth died by suicide in northern Ontario in early July and more died earlier this year.
“We want to see these promises with timelines attached that are within their mandate, not after the next election,” said Lester.
Some of the group were part of the Occupy INAC demonstrations last spring.
Their message today is similar.
“The children who are in a bad state, we’re here to make change too,” said demonstrator Geoffery Daybutch. “We’re here to ask these questions and to force the government into action.”
Demonstrators say residents from the Toronto community has been generally positive, while some have challenged their actions.
“There is other people going by who want to help but they don’t know how, then there are people who are completely unaware of any of the Native issues and this has been a real eye opener for those people,” said Daybutch.
The group plans to stay until they see concrete action from the federal government to address the suicide crisis.
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