Statement by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and Charlie Angus, Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay and NDP critic for Indigenous and Northern Affairs, on Upcoming Visit to Attawapiskat on Monday, April 18, 2016

OTTAWA, April 15, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, together with Charlie Angus, Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay and NDP critic for Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement today:

"It is clear that Canadians across the country are seized with the tragic situation facing Attawapiskat. We are also keenly aware that there are other Indigenous communities struggling with similar challenges.

For the people of Attawapiskat, we are currently working together to respond to the immediate needs of community members and will continue to work diligently to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals most at risk, especially youth.

We recognize the importance of the grassroots voices that are speaking up. We want to assure all Canadians we remain focused on the work that needs to continue in support of the community. The voices of the people of Attawapiskat are being heard. We will be visiting the community on Monday to meet with community members and youth leaders and determine with them how to address their immediate needs and chart a path forward.

Officials have  been working with the First Nation, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and provincial colleagues to provide mental health and community supports to Attawapiskat and the individuals and families in need. We are also working together on longer term solutions to improve the quality of life for members of the community.

Federal and provincial partners and the First Nation all have dedicated people working on a priority basis on these issues.

It is vital to our nation's future that we work in genuine partnership to ensure better social and economic outcomes for Indigenous Peoples, especially youth."

This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information: please contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; David Schecter, Legislative Assistant, Office of MP Charlie Angus, 613-762-9617; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160


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