Prime Minister James Smith visited the Cree Nation and announced mental health support for those affected by the tragic September attacks

The events described below are far-reaching and profound in their impact. If you need someone to talk to, the Hope for Wellness helpline supports all local people. You can contact consultants by phone or chat. The service is available in French and English, as well as Cree, Ojibwa and Inuktitut upon request. To reach the Listening Line, call toll-free at 1-855-242-3310 or contact us online via chat at www.espoirpourlemieuxetre.ca.

Canadians from coast to coast were deeply shaken by the horrific attacks that killed 11 people and injured 18 others in the James Smith Cree Nation and the community of Weldon in Saskatchewan in September. We have come together to mourn those who lost their lives and support their loved ones. The Government of Canada continues to support community members coping with the loss and trauma caused by this tragic and senseless violence.

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau traveled to the James Smith Cree Nation to meet with community leaders, families of victims and survivors, and $62.5 million over six years starting earlier this year and $4.5 million for healing, mental health and mental health support announced his departure. To support the well-being of community members affected by the tragic events of last September and grassroots-led community safety approaches. Everyone should have access to the support services they need, and today we are taking action to improve access to culturally appropriate mental health and addiction care for members of the James Smith Cree Nation.

$42.5 million of this new funding will be used to support healing and mental well-being, including the construction of a new community health center and the redevelopment of the Sakwatamo Pavilion. The James Smith Cree Nation will also be able to develop and design programs that better meet the needs of its members, including improving access to mental health, trauma and substance abuse services. Members of the James Smith Cree Nation community will then benefit from immediate and long-term support that will allow them to continue their healing journey.

The Prime Minister also announced an additional $20 million over four years to implement the Federal Pathway and strengthen the Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities initiative, which builds on our efforts to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people. Through this initiative, the James Smith Cree Nation and other communities will be able to develop and implement community projects focused on safety and well-being.

Access to quality, culturally appropriate and trauma-informed mental health care is essential to the well-being of communities and to the process of healing from the pain, trauma and loss caused by tragedies such as last September’s horrific attacks. The Government of Canada will continue to work with Indigenous peoples across the country to promote Indigenous approaches to mental health. Our priority is to ensure that all Canadians have access to the mental health care they need, when they need it.

Quotes

“Today I saw firsthand the pain, grief, anger and loss felt by people in the James Smith Cree Nation community. Canadians mourn with you. Better access to mental health and addictions care will help create a safer and healthier community. James Smith To the people of the Cree Nation: Government will be your partner every step of the way in the healing process. »

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Recovering from tragedy takes time. Through it all, the people and leadership of the James Smith Cree Nation remained strong. It takes time and ongoing support to heal. That is why we will continue to support and fund indigenously developed and indigenously led approaches to health. More needs to be done to transform care systems so that Indigenous peoples have access to safe, equitable and culturally informed health and wellness services. The federal government is committed to remaining a strong partner in this matter. »

The Honorable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Local Services and Minister Responsible for the Northern Ontario Federal Economic Development Agency

“We are grateful for his visit. His kind words touched us deeply as members of our community are still grieving the loss of their loved ones. We thank Prime Minister Trudeau and his government for their prompt response to our emergency medical needs in the immediate aftermath of the incident, which helped us during an extremely turbulent time. His visit gives us confidence in our ability to continue working together to achieve our long-term goals, including meeting our needs for a treatment center and a self-governing police service. »

Chief Wally Burns of the James Smith Cree Nation

Highlights

  • On September 4, 2022, 11 people died and 18 were injured in the James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby community of Weldon, Saskatchewan. The person suspected of committing these murders was caught by the police, had health problems and died in the hospital. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is continuing its investigation into these tragic events.
  • Following this tragedy, the Government of Canada provided immediate support to the local community, including:
    • temporary opportunities to meet urgent needs for individual counseling, family therapy, and community mental health support;
    • mental health and addiction counseling services provided by 15 mental health therapists;
    • More than $300,000 to address the unique mental health needs of children at James Smith Cree Nation School.
  • The Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and Prince Albert Grand Council announced a partnership in October to improve public safety and policing in 12 member First Nations and 28 communities. This team will drive community-led public safety initiatives tailored to the needs of each community.
  • In Budget 2022, the government committed an extra $227.6 million over two years to maintain Indigenous-led services to improve mental health. This is in addition to $597.6 million in Budget 2021 funding for disparities-based local mental health and wellness strategies.
  • Funding for the Mental Health Program has increased from approximately $325 million per year in 2015-16 to $580 million in 2021-22. An additional $107 million that year expanded trauma-informed support services to all forms of trauma, bringing total program funding to $687 million in 2021-22.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the mental health of all Canadians. If you or someone you know is struggling, the Hope for Wellness Helpline has experienced counselors available to all Indigenous peoples in Canada to provide culturally appropriate services. Advisors can be reached anytime by phone, 1-855-242-3310, or via chat. Phone service and chat service are available in French and English. Telephone service is also available in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut upon request.

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