Young Indigenous people in Canada are choosing suicide in numbers that have never been exceeded anywhere, at any time, in recorded history.
As federal and provincial officials, First Nation and Innu leaders, care providers and others bicker back and forth about money and political considerations, the casualty list grows daily.
And the suicide numbers only tell part of the story. For every person who succeeds in taking his or her own life, there are many others, equally dispirited, who make unsuccessful attempts.
Add this casualty count to the countless number of young people locked in the living death of prostitution. Add that to the appalling number of children that are drug, alcohol and solvent addicted, and then to the disproportionate numbers of Indigenous people serving time in correctional facilities and an obscene image begins to emerge.
Broken, wasted, desperate lives are capped off by premature, tragic death, year after year for too many years. Research material going back decades explains the phenomenon and even tells how to end it, but it hasn?t ended. And so far, the public debate has been steered away from discussions about the causes and possible cures.
It?s time to ask why.
Windspeaker news staff dedicated an unusually large amount of time to the story this month because it?s an issue that is crying out for tough talk and informed analysis. We?ve been covering the stories of the suicides, the addictions, the pain and the suffering since we began publishing 18 years ago, and we will continue to cover these stories again and again until someone draws a line in the sand that says: ?This far and no further.?
Let this be that line?For the children.