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Sask. First Nation calls for support over mental health and addiction crisis

Prince Albert -

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation calling on the federal and provincial governments for substantial support and funding amid the ongoing crisis in the community of Pelican Narrows.

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Chief Karen Bird says the community is facing mental health and addiction issues as a result of generational trauma.

“It’s more than just a rough patch, it is an emergency that has got us calling out for help louder and louder,” said Bird.

She says they’re demanding decisive action and a genuine partnership with the government to help end this crisis.

“We need more people off the ground like nurses, security, that can really make a difference, and mental health experts that can help heal the deep wounds of our community,” Bird said.

Pelican Narrows councillor Sarah Swan says she was a part of the residential school system for almost eight years and is asking for resources to help heal from this trauma.

“The grandparents and parents are tired,” Swan said. “We are hurting for this generation.”

In a statement to CTV, the Government of Saskatchewan said they continue to invest in the RCMP, municipal, and First Nations police services to ensure they have the resources to keep Saskatchewan communities safe.

Chief Bird says Peter Ballantyne’s council is ready to engage in discussions to initiate necessary support and action from the government.

“Current circumstances require a partnership that matches our commitment to safeguarding our health, safety, and well-being of our people,” Bird said.

She says they hope this matter will be treated with the urgency and seriousness it deserves. Top Stories

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