Jukasa News Update Wednesday, December 4, 2019
AFN’s Perry Bellegarde is calling on Ottawa to develop a national suicide prevention strategy for young indigenous people.
Bellegarde spoke to the special assembly of chiefs in Ottawa yesterday, saying action needs to be taken to stop the hopelessness and self harm plaguing first nations communities.
Communities in the remote north have seen the worst of a nation-wide suicide crisis among indigenous youth, sometimes seeing groups of youth, some as young as 10 years old, attempting to take their own lives at the same time in what elected leaders called cluster suicides.
Police in Nova Scotia have arrested and charged a suspect in the death of Cassidy Bernard, more than 13 months after the young mom’s death.
22 year old Bernard was found murdered in her home. Her five month old twin daughters lay near her body in their crib unharmed but suffering from dehydration. The Mikma’q woman’s death launched an outpouring of grief and anger in the indigenous community of We’koqma’q.
Now charged with second degree murder is Bernard’s ex-boyfriend, Dwight Austin Isadore. He is also facing two counts of abandoning a child.
Police in Hamilton have laid more charges and made an additional arrest in connection with a protest outside an event featuring People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier during the fall election campaign.
Investigators say a fourth suspect, 27-year-old Michael Lickers, has been arrested and charged with assault and intimidation, and is due in court on Christmas Eve.
Police say about 100 protesters were outside the building at Mohawk College that night as people entered the venue.
No injuries were reported, but the protest became mired in controversy when video footage emerged showing masked protesters blocking the path of an elderly woman with a walker.
The chief of Grassy Narrows is calling on the federal government to stop delays on a treatment centre for residents with mercury poisoning in the community.
Chief Rudy Turtle spoke at the AFN with the support of National Chief Perry Bellegarde and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh along with elders and youth from Grassy Narrows.
Grassy Narrows has been plagued with mercury contaminating their fresh water source since the 1960s after a paper mill dumped 9,000 kilograms of mercury into the English-Wabigoon River system.
Ottawa pledged in 2017 to construct a specialized medical facility where Grassy Narrows residents who live with mercury poisioning can receive treatment.
Turtle says the federal government and community leaders can’t come to an agreement on the design of the facility.
- Previous Jukasa News Update Tuesday, December 3, 2019
- Next Jukasa News Update Friday December 6, 2019