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5th girl commits suicide on a northern Saskatchewan First Nation

Rash of Saskatchewan youth suicides triggers cross-Canada response
WATCH ABOVE: This past Tuesday, a fifth young girl took her life in northern Saskatchewan. The recent rash of youth suicides has triggered reaction from across the country. Now a local musician who’s visited two of the affected communities as a motivational speaker is speaking out. Shallima Maharaj reports.

Another young girl has committed suicide in northern Saskatchewan, the fifth indigenous girl to take her life this month.

A grief counselor for the school on the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation, near Loon Lake, said the 13-year-old committed suicide on Tuesday.

Her funeral was held on Friday.

READ MORE: Victim’s family says suicide a problem across northern Saskatchewan for years

Grief counsellors were brought in to help students cope.

A letter has also been sent out to parents encouraging them to watch for signs of suicide in their children.

“Due to the circumstances of this loss, our school and education team has mobilized an immediate crisis response team that has been actively working with our students both directly and indirectly connected to the loss,” reads the letter dated Oct. 25 and sent out by the First Nation’s school.

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“Parents are encouraged to speak to our counselling department in the event that students show unusual signs during this time.”

The Makwa Sahgaiehcan band office said support staff is available for those who need someone to talk to, and are encouraging everyone in the community to seek support.

Earlier this month, two girls from Stanley Mission, one from La Ronge and a girl from Deschambault Lake committed suicide.

All were between the ages of 10 and 14.

Both the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation declared a state of crisis following the suicides.

READ MORE: State of crisis declared in 2 Sask. First Nations following youth suicides

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his government is prepared to work with indigenous communities to deal with “this ever-occurring tragedy” across the country.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has said that his government is working to support communities and that a meeting will be held with northern leaders.

READ MORE: NDP says Ottawa not funding enough mental-health workers after youth suicides

Health Canada has stated it is providing support to allow seven mental health therapists to travel weekly to Stanley Mission to provide counselling to at-risk youth, six days a week, until the end of December.

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With files from The Canadian Press, MBC