Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is offering their condolences for the loss of life occurring at the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation outside of Janvier.
In response to a story by Mix News on Wednesday, ISC is saying they are aware of the situation in the First Nation and have been working to identify potential courses of action. The government agency says they have had multiple meetings with CPFN since August of 2022.
But the First Nation is saying meetings are simply not enough. According to the CPFN, they have lost four members to preventable death in the last six weeks. Expressing deep frustration with the inability of mid-level officials to approve any meaningful funding, the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation believes that dialog is becoming futile.
“We have been asking for help for over a year,” says Najwa Karamujic, Community and Social Worker with CPFN.
“We’ve been to meeting after meeting.”
The band says that overdoses, suicides, and the aftermath of the pandemic have drained band resources. At the same time, the crisis in the community continues to build.
“I have long advocated that the main issue is the Indian Act itself, which has only hurt CPFN and many other Indigenous communities,” says Chief Vern Janvier.
The First Nation wants the Federal Government to stand by its commitment to reconciliation, noting that reconciliation is done through actions, not more meetings.