Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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April 13, 2016

NAN TO PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PARLIAMENT ON SUICIDE, HEALTH CRISIS

THUNDER BAY, ON (April 13, 2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, First Nation leaders and health officials will appear before the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Thursday to present recommendations to address suicide and the health emergency in NAN territory.

“We look forward to appearing before the Committee and welcome the opportunity to provide recommendations to the Government of Canada on action needed to address the suicide crisis and the health emergency across NAN territory,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “The current crisis in Attawapiskat First Nation has garnered international attention and the eyes of the world are on Canada. We will ask for this government to work with us to develop immediate action to significantly improve the state of health in our First Nations.”

The suicide crisis in Attawapiskat comes on the 140th anniversary of The Indian Act, highlighting a legacy of colonialization that has relegated First Nations to poverty and despair while the rest of Canada has prospered.

“It is shameful that after 140 years under The Indian Act our First Nations are still struggling to meet the basics of everyday life. Many of our people have lost hope over the generations, and our communities are in perpetual crisis,” said Fiddler. “We need to move beyond these states of emergency and crises and begin to work toward longer-term solutions - we have to address the underlying issues.”

NAN will present to the Standing Committee on Thursday April 14, 2016, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Room 237-C, Centre Block. Participating will be: Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, Chiefs of Ontario; Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon, Mushkegowuk Council; Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, Nishnawbe Aski Nation; Board Chair John Cutfeet, Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority.

For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4965 or cell (807) 621-2790 or by email mheintzman@nan.on.ca

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