Laura Baziuk | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
If the B.C. government is to help a Vancouver Island First Nation to deal with a spike of suicides, officials must listen to the tribe's specific needs.
So says Mary Polak, B.C.’s minister of aboriginal relations, as the Cowichan Tribes First Nation pleads for help in a state of emergency with 52 suicide alerts so far this year.
"Oftentimes, our types of support that we provide in First Nations communities are based on the type of programming that we'd provide in almost any other community. And yet, the needs in First Nations communities can be very, very different."
She says federal, provincial and health officials have met with the community to figure out how to address problems – the chief of which is unemployment.