La Ronge to hold vigil amid Saskatchewan suicide crisis

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WATCH ABOVE: Northern Saskatchewan in pain in the wake of another suicide by a young girl. Joel Senick reports – Nov 1, 2016

More than 100 people are expected to gather in downtown La Ronge for a vigil Tuesday night in honour of the six young girls from northern Saskatchewan who have committed suicide in recent weeks.

“Six girls committing suicide within this past month is just a tragic, tragic crisis that we’re dealing with as northerners,” Amie Bell, one of the vigil’s organizers, said in an interview Tuesday.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan NDP calls for action after another aboriginal girl commits suicide

On Sunday, a 13-year-old girl from La Ronge took her own life, according to Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson. The girls were from multiple northern Saskatchewan communities; none of them was older than 14-years-old.

“It’s really difficult, you know, to lose another youth to suicide and we are in a crisis situation,” Cook-Searson said.

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Cook-Searson said more than 20 other youth are now identified with a “high risk” potential to harm themselves.

“It could be signs that maybe they told somebody that they were going to hurt themselves,” Cook-Searson said.

“It could be one of the friends saying that they think that this person’s going to harm themselves.”

Bell is a life-long resident of La Ronge and said “you could feel the energy” in the community during recent weeks.

“There are a lot of heavy-hearted people affected by this,” she said.

READ MORE: Rash of Saskatchewan youth suicides triggers cross-Canada response

The vigil is being organized by the NORTEP Student Association. The evening will include speeches from community leaders, drumming and prayers, according to Bell.

“I hope it shows support and I hope it spreads awareness of how many people this does affect and how it affects not only Saskatchewan, but nationwide,” Bell said.

“If we come together as a community, I think we’re going to be able to overcome this.”

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