Attawapiskat First Nation is a reserve located on the mouth of the Attawapiskat River on James Bay in Northern Ontario. It is an isolated, fly-in community that has had a history of infrastructure-related problems, along with the current mental health crisis. While the 2011 census counted over 2,800 members of the community, there are only close to 1,550 on-reserve members, of which nearly three-quarters are under the age of 35.
In April of this year, the New York Times reported that 5% of the community, or 101 people, attempted suicide between September 2015 and April 2016. March 2016 saw 28 suicide attempts, which averages out to nearly one suicide attempt per day that month. This crisis hit a peak on April 9, 2016, when 11 people attemptd suicide. A state of emergency was called, with reasons for these attempts including overcrowding (with 14-15 people living in a single house), bullying at school, trauma related to residential schooling experiences, and abuse (physical, sexual and drug).
Earlier this month, CBC News interviewed a young man named Jack Jr. Linklater, who has taken on the clearing of garbage in the community. He stated that it was a way to keep his community clean, while also combating the symptoms of depression and suicidal ideations. Linklater’s experience is not isolated. Research has shown that performing community service can have positive health effects on morbidity and mortality (see Langer & Roden, 1976, and 1977).
After reading this story, I reached out to Jack, and asked if there was a way that I can help. He told me that they are in need of garbage picks and gloves, and will probably need 10 of each.
I’ve opted to order the items from Amazon, because the businesses around Kenora and Timmins did not have the supplies that they need:
G + G 5035L-5 Premium Cowhide Leather Palm Gloves, Heavy Duty Fabric, Large, 5-Pair Pack = $12.99 x 2 = $25.98
Ettore 49042 Trash Picker = $8.90 x 10 = $89.00
$25.98 + $89.00 = $114.98
Shipping and handling comes out to $454.80.The items chosen did not qualify for free shipping, and the items that did qualify could not be shipped to Attawapiskat.
The estimated GST/HST is $74.12. There is no estimated PST.
The estimated overall total of the order is $643.90.
I am hoping to raise at least $750, just so we can round out the number, and to cover any unexpected expenses that may arise. Any money that is not used will be donated to Jack directly.
I will be placing the order myself, and having it sent to him. There is no minimum donation amount, but I would like to have the money raised quickly so that I can ensure Jack gets the supplies needed to continue his project. Thank you for your support.