The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is taking suicide prevention into its own hands and creating a bill to address the ongoing problem in Saskatchewan.
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron made the announcement during a press conference at Wascana Park on Tuesday.
“It’s something we have been working on for quite some time and still in its early stage,” Cameron said.
“It’s inclusive. We are still getting feedback, and more importantly, direction and recommendation right at the First Nation level.
“We’re hearing it from our Dené from the north all the way to the Lakotas in the south and everyone in between.”
Cameron was one of many Indigenous leaders who gathered at the park on Tuesday to their show support for Tristen Durocher.
Durocher erected a teepee at Wascana Park to raise awareness about suicide, after walking more than 600 kilometres from La Ronge to Regina under the banner “Walking With Our Angels.”
He arrived in Regina on July 31 and began a hunger strike which he plans on doing until mid-September.
Durocher met with the province last week on ways to improve the government’s suicide prevention strategy.
“The gist of the meeting was ‘we’re doing enough and we’re going to continue doing what we are doing,’” Durocher said in an exclusive interview with Global News on Monday. “It was kind of disheartening.”
Since 2005, there have been more than 2,300 suicides in Saskatchewan, according to the province.
“We need action after school hours and on the weekend when our youth are more vulnerable and for anyone who needs that extra support system in mental health and mental wellness. There are thousands of us,” Cameron said.
Cameron said he hopes to present the bill to government sometime early in the new year.
As for Durocher, the province filed a court application against him at Regina Court of Queen’s Bench on Friday.
The province said he is violating a bylaw, which prohibits people from setting up camp in Wascana Park.